World Cup opportunity for Deavin

LAUNCESTON hockey player Tim Deavin has received an 11th-hour call-up to the World Cup, which begins in the Netherlands tonight.

Tim Deavin

Tim Deavin

The Tamar Churinga product was drafted in on the eve of the tournament when teammate Glenn Simpson suffered a fractured foot.

Deavin, who had travelled with the squad as an emergency reserve, comes straight into contention for Australia's opening match against Malaysia at 6.30pm (AEST) today in The Hague.

Tamar Churinga president Phil Deavin spoke to his son yesterday and said he had mixed feelings about the news. 

``He was actually disappointed because someone else has got injured and they're all best mates in the team,'' Phil Deavin said.

``So while he was excited about playing, it was bittersweet to see a teammate miss out.''

The 29-year-old former Scotch Oakburn College student joins Hobart's Eddie Ockenden in a team looking to become only the third to successfully defend a World Cup title. 

Both Tasmanians played in the Kookaburras team that  claimed a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, and Tasmanian Institute of Sport hockey coach Andrew McDonald said that perceived failure would  be a motivational factor during coach Ric Charlesworth's final year in charge.

``In hockey this is the second-biggest competition behind only the Olympics, and, like soccer, is only held every four years,'' he said.

``The selection process was extremely difficult, and one moment Tim was in and the next he was out. He has shown tremendous maturity in being so gracious about not being included initially.

``He took it on the chin, accepted that there were aspects of his game he needed to improve and responded really well.

``This is now a real opportunity for him to build on having been to an Olympic Games, and I'm sure all those that went to London will have a burning desire to accept nothing but gold.''

After today's match, the Kookaburras will also play Spain, Belgium, England and India  before the tournament enters finals.

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