Hockey World Cup 2018: Aussie joint captain Ockenden proud of team despite semifinal loss

The regret of not making it to the finals of the Hockey World Cup was even bigger for Eddie Ockenden and team-mate Matthew Swann, who were part of the 2010 and 2014 editions of the event in Delhi and the Hague respectively.

Australia's Eddie Ockenden was keen to win the title with the youngsters.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Even as two-time defending champion Australia settled for the bronze medal in the Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium here, the disappointment of not being able to make a unique hat-trick of titles remained in the camp.

The regret was even bigger for two members, Eddie Ockenden and Matthew Swann, who were part of the 2010 and 2014 editions of the event in Delhi and the Hague respectively.

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In the twilight of his career, 29-year-old Swann was sad to miss a rare opportunity. “It would have been amazing. Any major tournament, World Cup or Olympics, it’s so difficult to win. A second could change the result,” Swann told Sportstar after Australia thrashed England 8-1 to win the bronze medal on Sunday.

“Two gold medals and one bronze (in 2018). That shows the quality we bring at every single tournament. We play every single tournament wanting to win. Unfortunately, we could not be in the main game.

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“I am proud of this team. After suffering very dramatic loss yesterday, very proud of the way they showed up and performed today (Saturday). It’s always tough to get up after a loss and I am happy that we are here… That shows resilience in our side. We are a young and new team and we are looking at the future.”

Ockenden, one of the co-captains of the Kookaburras, might not be too bothered about the record, but he was keen to win the title with the youngsters.

“Does not matter if I won two (gold medals) before. The past is irrelevant. I wanted to win with this team.  We did not get the job done, so it’s disappointing.

“I am proud of the team no matter what. We had a very good tournament with a very young team. That’s a very good effort today (Saturday),” said 31-year-old Ockenden.