FERGUS Kavanagh has been named the only West Australian in the 16-man Kookaburra’s Olympic Hockey team, ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.
The Bentley-based 31-year-old said he was relieved to be named in the elite squad.
Kavanagh – who grew up in Geraldton – said he was thrilled his with his long career making his third Olympics.
“There’s always that sense that you don’t know who the coaches are going to go with. I still got that nervous excitement when I saw the (team selection) email,” he said
“Obviously I’m really happy; it’s a bit of happy and a bit of relief. I’m also very proud to be going to my third Olympics and proud of the longevity of my career. You always feel proud that you can represent yourself and your family and your country.”
Kavanagh said he was relishing the chance to get back to Brazil; although he expected it would be a much different trip from the last time he was in the South American country.
“I went to Rio travelling and spent New Year on Copacabana beach. This will be a much different trip,” he said.
“(But) my family are coming, my girlfriend is coming and I probably won’t be getting out seeing much of Rio as we have a really busy schedule.”
Hockey WA chief executive Peter Churack congratulated Kavanagh his selection.
“Western Australia has a proud tradition of producing a number of outstanding hockey players and athletes who have successfully gone on to represent their country on the biggest stage of them all, the Olympic Games,” he said.
“Representing your country is the highest honour you can receive and I am delighted that Fergus has once again been given the chance to showcase his talent at the Olympic Games and would like to congratulate him on this fantastic achievement.”
Mr Churack passed on his commiserations to those who missed the team, but promised an exciting year at the Australian Hockey League (AHL) home ground.
“This is going to be a fantastic year for hockey in Western Australia as Perth is also set to host the biggest and best AHL in the tournament’s history later this year,” he said.
“As the country’s premier hockey competition, the AHL always sees the country’s best talent to the field to compete against each other however this year I hope our crowds will also have the privilege of watching some Olympic gold medallists too.”
The Australian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team will be announced next week.
The 2016 Australian Olympic Men’s Hockey team:
Fergus Kavanagh (WA)