Under inspired coach Ric Charlesworth, the Kookaburras have won the following three recent international events:
2009 Champions Trophy in Australia
2010 World Cup in India
2010 Champions Trophy in Germany.
In the World Cup held earlier this year, the Kookaburras put paid to the Dutch in their semi-final and then Germany in the final.
In this Champions Trophy last week, the Kookaburras sent packing the Black Sticks (New Zealand), England, the Dutch, Germany and then Spain. They then faced England in the final, who are the current European Champions.
The Champions Trophy is an annual international competition of the top six nations. Looking at the list of nations which played in this Champions Trophy, two nations one might have thought should have been in attendance, Pakistan and India, were no where to be seen.
The European nations have enjoyed being in international pack of six at this level for years, with the big four: Germany, Holland, England and Spain all enjoying some success.
In this mix is Australia, Korea, and most times Pakistan and only occasionally India, New Zealand and Argentina.
In the World Cup and Olympic 12 team forums, South Africa, Malaysia, Belgium, Poland, France and Russia show their wares from time to time but they are never in real contention to reach the top six Champions Trophy.
This is where the rubber hits the road in International Hockey, as the Champions Trophy provides a huge advantage to those leading teams, with the sixth placed team dropping out each year.
Sadly, our friends across the Tasman, the Black Sticks failed to hold out Spain in a 2-3 loss for that vital 5th position in this recent Champions Trophy.
With the Commonwealth Games around the corner, these strong hockey Commonwealth Nations meet again, which will be a look alike Champions Trophy line up. International hockey just gets better!
A Well-Being Australia theologian with a point to ponder likens this up coming Commonwealth Games hockey competition like the old wine Jesus spoke of in his parable. Jesus said old and new wine require different containers.
This Commonwealth Games competition with all the old classic hockey nation names returning to the fray might be seen as that old wine which certainly has a taste of nostalgia. At least it is to this old war horse hockey player and hockey author!