Debutant Lachlan Sharp joins the Kookaburras as they take on the eight best hockey nations at the Hockey World League Final in India this weekend.
The NSWIS athlete, who hails from Lithgow in country New South Wales, has been called into the squad as an injury replacement, following a breakout year in 2017.
The 20 year old was this year selected to the NSW State U21’s Men’s team, which took gold at the U21 Australian National Championships earlier this year. Sharp also claimed Player of the Tournament.
He then impressed on tour with the National Development Squad and recently played in the International Festival of Hockey, subsequently travelling to Perth to train with the Kookaburras which resulted in his selection.
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Brent Livermore, Head Coach of the Men’s Hockey Program at the NSW Institute of Sport, is full of praise for Sharp.
“Lachlan had a really good tournament at the U21 Australian National Championships in Wollongong.
“It’s his performance, his leadership on and off the field – he was part of the leadership group – and he was a standout performer throughout.
“His off-ball awareness, elimination skills, first touch and game awareness is really high, which has meant he’s progressed to the Kookaburras.
The transition to international hockey has been very fast for Sharp, and for Livermore that meant some practical tips for the youngster – in particular to remember to pack his passport.
“It’s come about pretty quickly. I had a call on the Friday before he flew out to Perth (to train with the Kookaburras) and they said to please just remind him he may require his passport because we might need to race through some visas for India – so it’s been fast for him”.
Livermore knows a thing or two about playing for the Australian national team, capped over 300 times and having won Olympic gold with the team in Athens.
“I’d like to wish Lachy all the best. Debuting for the Kookaburras is a memory you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
The Kookaburras begin their Hockey World League Final with a match against India on December 1 as a part of Pool B, which also contains Germany and England.