Kurt Lovett called up to Kookaburras squad for 2020

Posted on November 21, 2019 by

The 27-player Kookaburras squad has been announced for next year’s bumper international calendar, headlined by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and defence of the FIH Pro League title.

The majority of this year’s squad that qualified for Tokyo 2020, won the inaugural Pro League and secured the world number one ranking have been retained, with exciting young talents, 20 year old Victorian Nathan Ephraums and Sydney-based Kurt Lovett (NSWIS), aged 22, the two new inclusions.

Lovett was a member of this year’s National Development Squad and performed outstandingly during the recent Sultana Bran Hockey One League, scoring eight goals for the season as part of NSW Pride’s all conquering men’s championship team.

Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch said the duo’s form over the past 12 months more than warranted their selection.

“Kurt had a break out season in Hockey One. He had a number of good games including in the finals and put his name forward in a way that we couldn’t ignore,” said Batch.

“Kurt has knocked on the door for a while now. He competed at the Junior World Cup in 2016 but wasn’t able to break into the senior squad…what we’re seeing now is much more direct output from him…he’s scoring goals, breaking from midfield, creating some really good opportunities on the counter attack, and he is a more mature player now.”

“We’ve got to keep stressing to the athletes that it’s their performance on the pitch that matters,” said Batch.

“We saw that in Hockey One but it’s also what we see in our daily training environment day in day out. We assess that and will continue to do so into next year – that the players are training consistently well week in week out.”

“I think we’ve got a good core group but there are some really good young players pushing up from underneath, so the depth of men’s hockey in Australia is really solid at the moment, which creates that pressure and intensity.”

With minimal turnover in the squad for next year, Batch believes this Kookaburras group is yet to reach its full potential, something he hopes will come on the biggest stage at the 2020 Olympics.

“We did really well in 2019 so we can tick that off as a good year but know there is a lot of improvement left in this group,” said Batch.

“I’m looking to all of the players to create more opportunities and growth in the group both individually and for us as a team, and if we are going to be successful next year we have to have that.”

“We talk about the 2020 national squad but this is the squad that the Olympic team will come out of, so that in itself is a great achievement for all of the athletes who have been selected.

“Our goal is to play well at the Olympics. Our preparation has to be good all the way through. We start training in early January and then Pro League begins in late January so for us the focus is to keep improving and maintain that enthusiasm and excitement.

“If you do all of those things it puts you in a good position to have success rather than always thinking about the outcome.”

With the announcement of the 2020 squad, other notable aspects include Tasmanian Eddie Ockenden possibly heading towards competing at a fourth Olympics and breaking Jamie Dwyer’s all-time Kookaburras appearance record, while a host of players including Tom Craig, Blake Govers, Tom Wickham, Matt Swann, Jeremy Hayward and Jacob Whetton are nearing individual milestones.

But these individual achievements pale in comparison to the Kookaburras’ primary mission – winning Australia’s second Olympic gold medal in men’s hockey.

The Kookaburras’ next internationals will be their opening matches of the FIH Pro League 2020 on 25/26 January against Belgium in Sydney.

The team that will represent Australia at Tokyo 2020 is expected to be announced in mid June.


Kookaburras 2020 squad


Date of Birth

Hometown, State

Hockey One Team

Caps (Goals)

Jacob Anderson


Mackay, QLD Brisbane Blaze

19 (8)

Daniel Beale


Brisbane, QLD Brisbane Blaze

171 (28)

Josh Beltz


Hobart, TAS Tassie Tigers

39 (3)

Tim Brand


Chatswood, NSW NSW Pride

34 (15)

Andrew Charter (gk)


Canberra, ACT Canberra Chill

177 (0)

Tom Craig


Lane Cove, NSW NSW Pride

97 (27)

Matthew Dawson


Killarney Vale, NSW NSW Pride

132 (12)

Johan Durst (gk)


Melbourne, VIC HC Melbourne

3 (0)

Nathan Ephraums


Keysborough, VIC HC Melbourne

Blake Govers


Wollongong, NSW NSW Pride

97 (83)

Jake Harvie


Dardanup, WA Perth Thundersticks

64 (3)

Jeremy Hayward


Darwin, NT Tassie Tigers

149 (62)

Tim Howard


Wakerley, QLD Brisbane Blaze

54 (1)

Tyler Lovell (gk)


Perth, WA Perth Thundersticks

141 (0)

Kurt Lovett


Parkes, NSW NSW Pride

Trent Mitton


Perth, WA Perth Thundersticks

168 (75)

Eddie Ockenden


Hobart, TAS Tassie Tigers

358 (70)

Flynn Ogilvie


Wollongong, NSW NSW Pride

103 (21)

Lachlan Sharp


Lithgow, NSW NSW Pride

42 (8)

Josh Simmonds


Melbourne, VIC HC Melbourne

15 (0)

Matthew Swann


Mackay, QLD Brisbane Blaze

198 (7)

Jack Welch


Hobart, TAS Tassie Tigers

8 (2)

Corey Weyer


Biggera Waters, QLD Brisbane Blaze

38 (3)

Jacob Whetton


Brisbane, QLD Brisbane Blaze

197 (64)

Tom Wickham


Morgan, SA Perth Thundersticks

48 (20)

Dylan Wotherspoon


Murwillumbah, NSW Brisbane Blaze

86 (30)

Aran Zalewski


Margaret River, WA Perth Thundersticks

183 (23)

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