Jamie Dwyer has a busy year ahead with the Kookaburras.
Jamie Dwyer has a busy year ahead with the Kookaburras. GETTY IMAGES

Dwyer confident of success for Aussies

AUSTRALIAN star Jamie Dwyer has won an Olympic gold medal, Commonwealth Games gold, a World Cup and six Champions Trophy tournaments.

But the five-time winner of the world's best player award thinks the present Australian squad is the most competitive he has seen.

That's why he is confident the Kookaburras can defend all three of its crowns - the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy - in a hectic 2014. First cab off the rank is the World Cup, which starts in The Hague in Holland on May 31.

That will be followed by the Commonwealth Games, which starts in Glasgow on July 23, and finally the Champions Trophy, in Bhubaneswar, India, starting on December 13.

The 35-year-old Dwyer, Australia's third most-capped player (312) behind Jay Stacy (321) and Brent Livermore (317), said no one could take their place in the team for granted with a generation of new stars coming through the ranks.

"Whenever Ric (coach Ric Charlesworth) mentions the World Cup, you can tell everyone just wants to get even better to guarantee their spots on that team," Dwyer said.

"Jeremy Hayward is a young player that has really stepped up over the past 12 months, and another younger bloke, Jake Whetton, has probably showed the most improvement."

Charlesworth has left no stone unturned in the team's preparations, even bringing in psychologists, something Dwyer said had been a good innovation.

"Guys will probably never be as good at communicating as girls are, but we've really come a long way in that regard thanks to the psychologists," he said. "Everyone is contributing feedback now, even our younger players."

As for his plans beyond this year, Dwyer said he would wait until Charlesworth's replacement was announced in October to decide his own future.

"My body still feels good and I'm running as fast as I ever have. I just have to train a bit differently now, and not everyday," he said.



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