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Hockey World Cup: Australia’s Jake Harvie feels India roots

Kookaburra Jake Harvie has family roots in India and feels relaxed being part of an 18-strong ‘group of mates’

As we saw from the Women’s World Cup in London, you can’t underestimate anyone in world hockey at the moment.
There are so many competitive teams, yet you wouldn’t want it any other way.
We want to continue to be the best team in the world. Perhaps it’s not defined truly by one tournament but we want to get better with every training session and match.
It was tough getting out there first up against Ireland. But that’s fine, we’re probably going to have to play five more like that if we want to make it all the way to a gold medal.
Ireland certainly put pressure on us. They wanted to split us at the back and that’s something we will have to adjust to this week.
There will always be tactics that teams try to do differently and so it’s up to us to try to identify that as quickly as possible and find a way to counter that.
England, who we play on Tuesday, will be no different and we know they are a tough opposition with a team which is trying a few things differently under their new coach.
It will be a challenging game. Just like Ireland, we will grind it out for the points. Sometimes we have to play ugly and we are prepared to do that.
In all, it’s just great to play hockey out here in India. It’s such a good atmosphere and I’m looking forward to seeing how much we can achieve after getting off to a win.
For me having some Indian heritage means it’s really good to be here.
My grandfather on my mum’s side was born in India. His family has four brothers and they moved from Nagpur to Australia when they were young.
He has really fond memories as a child in India and one day I hope to get to travel to where he grew up and went to school. Hopefully that opportunity arises.
For now, we are here as a team, 18 mates and living in each other’s pockets day-to-day.
Sometimes you need a break – I have brought my guitar to India – but we are great at mucking in together, having fun and being close.
You just don’t get this environment or feeling anywhere else and it’s hard to replicate. It’s moments like this when it’s important to try to identify how lucky you are in this space.
Jake Harvie is a Gryphon Hockey ambassador. For more go to www.gryphonhockey.com

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