Wotherspoon celebrates a goal for the Kookaburra's in a game against Canada.
Wotherspoon celebrates a goal for the Kookaburra's in a game against Canada. Koen Suyk

Murwillumbah Kookaburra closes in on Rio

MURWILLUMBAH hockey player Dylan Wotherspoon is one step closer to becoming an Olympian after being named in Hockey Australia’s 27-man squad for the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics on Thursday.

Wotherspoon, 22, made his Kookaburras debut in December last year in the Champions Trophy tournament in India and Kookaburras coach Graham Reid said Wotherspoon had risen to potential Olympian on the back of strong, physical performances.

Dylan Wotherspoon is on track for Kookaburra selection for the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Dylan Wotherspoon is on track for Kookaburra selection for the 2016 Olympics in Rio Koen Suyk

“Spoon’ looked like missing out, but we gave him an opportunity with three games in India and he’s performed fantastically, especially against the Europeans, who are physical,” Reid said. “We play against the Asian (nations), who are a lot lighter, but the Europeans are physical and that’s what I loved about Dylan and his ability to stand up and be a target.”

Reid said Wotherspoon’s continual growth was pleasing, following a quieter period of development.

“He’s followed the standard path a normal rookie will, with a really good debut and rushing on to the scene, then plateauing,” Reid said.

“They’re trying to develop and they get a lot of information and things they need to have in their head and that sometimes plateu’s them a bit.

“But he’s now back on the trajectory we need him to be on and he’s earned his place.”

Half the selected squad are vying for their first Olympics after a period of rebuilding for Hockey Australia.



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