Livers wary of pommies? passion when playing Australia
By NEIL BROWN in Melbourne
THE road to glory may be paved with success, but there are also some well-hidden potholes which can also cause enormous grief.
And as the Australian men's hockey team prepares for today's crucial Commonwealth Games clash against England, Brent Livermore only needs to cast his mind back to the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games to seek motivation.
"I've played against England a number of times in my career, especially in the early days and again just before the Athens Olympics," Livermore said.
"But the extra-time semi-final in KL really sticks in my mind."
The Kookaburras that year seemed unstoppable as they headed for what appeared a certain gold medal.
That was until England came within minutes of causing a huge semi-final upset with a Michael Brennan golden goal in sudden-death extra-time eventually breaking a 2-2 deadlock and sending the Aussies through to the final.
"That year in Malaysia really showed that anything can happen if you are not prepared," he said.
The Grafton product has etched a little piece of personal Commonwealth Games history, being the only men's player to represent Australia at all three Commonwealth Games in which hockey has been played.
He is joined in Melbourne by seven of his Manchester gold-medal-winning teammates.
Despite having two Commonwealth Games gold medals in his possession and now eight years on, nothing has changed since 1998 in Malaysia, according to the 220-game linchpin of the Aussie team.
England's performances at these Games have shown that the Mother Country is here to play hockey and it is obvious that nothing less than gold will suffice.
"I know how passionate England is when they play us," Livermore said.
"They always seem to put in that extra effort, they strive for that 50-50 ball, they are going to be very tough."