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“I feared for my sight” Kookaburras Matt Dawson speaks after a training ground accident

Kookaburras defender Matthew Dawson admits his vision is still blurry after a freak training ground incident where he feared he may have lost his sight.

The 23-year-old from Killarney Vale in New South Wales was on the wrong end of a hockey stick to his eye when a teammate attempted to shoot at goal.

Dawson initially feared the worst, but has recovered adequately to be selected in the Kookaburras’ 2018 Commonwealth Games team.

“It was just at training. Normal drill, player missed a shot and I was in a bad position and unfortunately copped a stick straight to the eye,” he recalled.

“The past few weeks have been pretty tough for me.

“I have seen the footage. I’ve not heard it but apparently the screams were pretty loud. Obviously it was pretty painful.

“I was pretty lucky not to burst an eyeball. Looking on the bright side, I can still see, I’ve still got my vision.”

Dawson was forced to withdraw from the Azlan Shah Cup which Australia, putting at risk his spot in the side for Gold Coast.

“I didn’t really now where I stood within the group looking forward,” he said.

“I knew I didn’t have a great deal of time before a home Commonwealth Games which, apart from the World Cup at the end of the year, this is the main goal for me.

Dawson has been given the all-clear by doctors, having returned to training last week, although he still needs to pass a hockey test from medical staff.

He will need to wear protective glasses should he play in the Commonwealth Games, where he’s likely to reach 100 caps for Australia, currently sitting on 98.

“I’ve been training and everything is looking positive,” he said.

“My vision is a little bit blurry but I can see, so that’s positive.

“The eye has opened up a fair bit over the last week. We’ve still got two weeks before our first match, so that’s a positive for me.”

The Kookaburras, who are in Pool A alongside New Zealand (ninth), Canada (11th), South Africa (15th) and Scotland (23rd), will head to the Gold Coast on Wednesday 28 March.

Hockey Australia


Friday 16 March 2018 | The Hockeyroos’ and Kookaburras’ 18-member teams aiming for gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast have today been announced. Continue reading HOCKEYROOS & KOOKABURRAS COMMONWEALTH GAMES TEAMS NAMED


Friday 9 March 2018 | The Kookaburras will head for Saturday night’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final with a perfect record after two late goals clinched a 3-1 win over 2016 Olympic champions Argentina in Ipoh, Malaysia on Friday.


Australia defeats England in Azlan Shah Cup clash


The Kookaburras have overcome torrential rain to defeat England 4-1 in their first appearance at the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.

The start if the match was delayed due to a downpour of rain but once the match was underway it was Australia who poured on the goals.

Dylan Wotherspoon (15’), Blake Govers (19’), Aaron Kleinschmidt (28’) and Lachlan Sharp (39’) were the goal scorers for Australia. Phil Roper (25’) was the only English player to score.

Australia looked switched on early as Dylan Wotherspoon opened the scoring in the 15th minute of play.

Some fantastic dribbling and a well-placed pass from Daniel Beale created an open shot for Wotherspoon who converted with a powerful flick into the right corner.

Ogilvie was everywhere in the first half and he looked to setup each of Australia’s entries into the circle. In the 19th minute he found some space and launched a shot at goal that ultimately deflected off of Govers for the Kookaburras’ second goal.

England were able to regain some composure and controlled play for the remainder of the first half. A number of attacks, including two shots in as many seconds, were repelled by the Mercian clad, Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell.

England were able to sneak their first and only goal through Phil Roper in the 25th minute of the match. Roper duped the Australian defence with a classy double touch before putting the ball in the back of the net.

Australia responded to the Roper goal with some classy play starting in the back half, a series of quick passes saw Aaron Kleinschmidt in the perfect position to strike just before halftime. Kleinschmidt converted and Australia entered the half with a 3-1 lead.

The second half started with a flurry of action. England had several shots on goal thanks to some impressive set pieces and Australian Trent Mitton was sent off with a green card for an incident at the center of the pitch.

Young Kookaburras Lachlan Sharp scored the final goal of the game in the 39th minute of action with a rather impressive deflection off an Australian set piece. As his teammates gathered around him in celebration, it was clear that Australia would close out the game.

England’s Mark Gleghorne received a green card in the 47th minute of the match and Australia was happy to maintain control of the play for the remainder of the match.

Through some impressive defensive work from Captain Mark Knowles, Australia was able to finish the match without conceding another score, defeating England 4-1.

The Kookaburras will next be in action on Sunday from 11:30pm AEDT against hosts Malaysia.

Australia 4
Goal Scorers:
Dylan Wotherspoon 15’, Blake Govers 19’, Aaron Kleinschmidt 28′ & Lachlan Sharp 39′

England 1

Goal Scorers:

Phil Roper 25’

Images: PMFSportsImages