The men’s hockey Champions Trophy will be held for the fifth time in Australia this northern hemisphere winter.
The FIH’s premiere event is returning to Melbourne, December 1-9, 2012 where the Australian Kookaburras will aim to claim a history making 13th gold.
The top five nations from last year’s Champions Trophy (Australia, Spain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany – Great Britain were sixth), the winner of the Champions Challenge (Belgium) and two nations invited to participate by the FIH are expected to compete at the event.
Hockey Australia chief executive Mark Anderson said the Kookaburras had a rich and successful history at the prestigious tournament and called on all sports lovers to support the national team, in their pursuit for a record fifth consecutive victory.
“Melbourne hosted a tremendously successful Champions Trophy event in 2009. The crowds were large, loud, supportive and all of the international teams had a fabulous experience both on and off-field,” Mr Anderson said.
“We look forward to bringing the teams back to Melbourne for what we believe will be an even bigger event and more entertaining tournament.”
The event is expected to attract up to 30,000 fans and for the international and Australian community, this is an experience not to be missed.
“We greatly appreciate the Victorian Government’s support, ensuring that Australia and Melbourne have the opportunity to host this feature hockey event,” Mr Anderson said.
“Being the first international event following the London Olympics is a fantastic opportunity for all sports lovers to come out to watch the best of the best in our sport.
“Regardless of the results in London, we are guaranteed to have the gold medal champions here on show in Melbourne, just three months after the world’s biggest sporting event is conducted. It is an exciting opportunity for our sport.”
Sports Minister Hugh Delahunty said the event would be hosted at Melbourne’s international standard hockey facility, the State Netball Hockey Centre, which gave spectators the opportunity to watch and support the Olympic medallists.
“Securing the FIH Champions Trophy for Melbourne will deliver economic benefits of up to $5.6 million to Victoria and reinforces Melbourne’s reputation as the world’s ultimate sports city, as well as significant benefits to the hockey community,” he said.
Hockey Victoria chief executive Ben Hartung said it was an exciting time for sports fans in this country and he was looking forward to forming a successful partnership with Hockey Australia.
“This is a brilliant opportunity to showcase our sport on the world stage and engage the wider community in an event that promises to shine and grow even bigger and better,” he said.
Last year the Kookaburras defeated Spain in a thrilling final 1-0 in Auckland with Eddie Ockenden sealing the win.
Five time World Player of the year and one of the most decorated sportsman Australia has ever produced, Jamie Dwyer starred and was named highest goal scorer at the tournament.
In 2009, Melbourne came alive with anticipation and the Kookaburras did not disappoint downing Germany in a memorable encounter 5-3 to take the title.