Livermore set for magic 200
By TONY WHITE
GRAFTON'S Australian men's hockey team Olympic gold medal-winning captain Brent Livermore will reach a career milestone in Europe next month? his 200th senior international game for the Kookaburras.
Livermore has been named in the Kookaburras touring side for the Hamburg Masters, a five-nation series against the world's top five-ranked hockey countries, August 12-14, and the Radobank Trophy, August 14-21 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The 200 milestone is likely to be achieved in the Kookaburras' first match against hosts Germany in the Hamburg Masters.
"I'm really looking forward to reaching the milestone," Livermore said.
"I never thought I'd ever play for Australia, let alone reach 200 senior international games.
"For a kid from Grafton to be lucky enough to play in two Olympics and hopefully three, and play for my country so many times, is too unbelievable to be true.
"The whole journey has been fantastic.
"My 200th game is a very special occasion."
Livermore has previously made around 50 appearances with junior national teams.
The Grafton icon is still well short of Jay Stacey's most capped record of 320 international appearances but given good form and health, Livermore is already looking towards further longevity.
"Generally we play around 20 to 25 internationals each year but next year with the Commonwealth Games and World Cup, the amount of games will increase," he said.
"My immediate sights next year are aimed around those two tournaments but I really hope to make my third Olympics in Beijing, 2008.
"Jay (Stacey) went to four Olympics. By 2008 I might have around 300 games up and provided I'm playing well and fit, enjoying it and the family's right, I could continue on.
"I've been in the national side for eight years."
Despite Livermore's growing fame and success, the world class elite athlete has never forgotten his roots and in recent weeks juggled his work and other commitments to play with his old team Bears in the A-grade hockey competition, and train with local youth.
He was scheduled to play with the Bears A-Grade outfit in Grafton tomorrow.
"I have to play in Sydney tomorrow (Saturday) and then fly to Europe on Monday," Livermore said from Sydney yesterday.
"Unfortunately I'll miss the Bears game but I'll be back in town and might be able to get down to see how the boys go."