Sport

Aussie hockey talent snapped up for new Indian league

Jamie Dwyer of Australia runs with the ball in the final between Australia and the Netherlands of the 2012 Champions Trophy at State Netball Hockey Centre on December 9, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
Jamie Dwyer of Australia runs with the ball in the final between Australia and the Netherlands of the 2012 Champions Trophy at State Netball Hockey Centre on December 9, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

CHRISTMAS has come early for 15 of Australia's best hockey players, snapped up at auction for the newly-formed Hockey India League, the country's equivalent to the lucrative Indian Premier League cricket competition.

While the million-dollar paydays handed out to their cricketing cousins were nowhere to be seen (each of the 24 franchises was limited to a total of $US600,000), the money on offer is expected to extend the careers of some players and even attract more people to the sport.

Five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer was the highest-priced Aussie, snapped up by the Punjab Warriors for $78,200 for the four-week competition.

Other Australian players to attract the big dollars were Eddie Ockenden (Utter Pradesh Wizards - $65,000), Mark Knowles (Punjab Warriors - $57,000), Joel Carroll (Mumbai Magicians - $56,000) and Mathew Swann (Mumbai Magicians - $51,000).

Knowles said he watched the auction live in Tasmania where he is spending Christmas with his wife's family, and said it was a life-changing event.

"I'm very, very, very happy," the 28-year-old said.

"It will certainly make it easier to make decisions about playing for longer.

"I'm closer to the end of my career than the start, but it doesn't put so much pressure on to get a job."

While Knowles said the competition had come "about 10 years too late" for players like him and Dwyer, it would be great for the next generation of stars.

"For someone like Matt Butturini or Joel Carroll, to have it so early in their careers is fantastic," Knowles said.

"It will make a massive difference to what we can do in the sport Australia. Most guys even struggle for stick sponsors. Now, if guys are looking at AFL or soccer or hockey, they'll have more of a look at our sport."

Until the advent of the HIL, due to run from January 16 to February 10, the top players had to make do on the annual Hockey Australia contract of about $60,000-a-year, plus a fraction of that for the best players able to get a start in a professional league in the Netherlands.

Knowles said he hoped his previous success in India - he played in victorious Kookaburras teams in the 2010 World Cup and 2010 Commonwealth Games - would rub off on the Punjab Warriors.

"The squads look amazing ... very even, but we've got a very nice looking team," he said.

As well as himself and Dwyer, the Warriors, to be coached by Hockeyroos coach Barry Dancer, also includes Kookaburras regulars Kieran Govers, Simon Orchard, Chris Ciriello and Rob Hammond, as well as Argentinian captain Lucas Rey and outstanding Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann.

Topics:  australia hockey india jamie dwyer kookaburras



Raiders' culture club rising in 2017

Tweed Coast have retained the nucleus of their senior side as they push for a top-three finish in 2017.

If we don't get a home semi-final this year we haven't down our job

Gallen honours Mustangs player with moving tribute

Paul Gallen holds up a special Mustangs jersey featuring Grant Cook

'Cronulla are thinking of you and good luck for the future'

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Local Partners

Kid nails Swift impersonation

Seven-year-old Xia Vigor nails Taylor Swift impersonation on the Philippine talent show Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids.

TAYLOR Swift has a seven-year-old doppelganger.

Ariana Grande 'hardest working 23-year-old on Earth'?

Ariana Grande

Not everyone was impressed with Grande’s self-proclaimed work ethic

Why The Walking Dead cast are paid a pittance

Despite massive ratings the cast haven't been shown the money

50 Shades Dornan on why he hates the film

Dornan and Johnson’s frequent sex scenes were ‘awkward’ to film. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied

Jamie Dornan doesn’t blame you for hating 50 Shades

Chris Hemsworth’s X-rated compliment to former co-star

Australian actor Chris Hemsworth poses on the red carpet for the European premiere of the film 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' in London on April 21, 2015.

THOR star once paid former Home and Away actress a lewd compliment.

'I can't keep my mouth shut any longer'

Singer George Michael.

George Michael’s cousin blasts singer’s boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.

Beautiful Terranora acreage

77 Mahers Lane, Terranora.

Check out this week's feature property.

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

'Difficult times': Rental prices tipped to increase in 2017

GREAT BUYS: There are some great rentals and houses to buy in South Gladstone. Head to gladstoneobserver.com.au for the top 10 homes under $100 to rent right now in the Gladstone region.

Investors may soon see a "profitable return” on properties.

Historical home leaves family's hands after 75 years

SALE CONFIRMED: The Gympie Regional   Realty team which sold the Ramsey property are (back) Mel Gastigar, Dorothy Palmer and Margaret Cochrane, with (front) home seller Terri-Jayne Ramsey.

Ramsey family played a huge role in Gympie's growth.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!