After carving an international career of 138 appearances plus two Olympic Games, representing his home state still means the world to Tasmanian Tim Deavin.
Now based in Perth, Western Australia, the 35-year-old is back in Launceston for a brief period of relaxation between Hockey One fixtures, which following its revamp this season, has brought back the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd.
"Home and away is an awesome model, I love being able to come back and play in Tassie in front of a home crowd, there's nothing better than that," the Tamar Churinga star said.
"Travelling away and playing guys at their home, it's always great to have a home ground advantage and it makes it a lot more interesting and a lot more fun."
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
Qualifying for the national competition's semi-finals off the back of a last-gasp 6-5 win over HC Melbourne on Sunday in Hobart, Deavin was understandably pleased with the end result.
"I think we started really strong, had the best of the opportunities in the first quarter and then pretty much fell away and had a pretty bad second quarter which allowed them to score a number of goals.
"We slowly worked our way back in and then in the last quarter we were all over them and were lucky enough to pitch it back and run over them right at the death."
Fellow international hero Eddie Ockenden scored three last-quarter majors in the comeback victory to be sitting at eight goals for the campaign, second only to New South Welshman Blake Govers' 12.
I love being able to come back and play in Tassie ... there's nothing better than that.Tim Deavin
"He's played striker for us forever so that's been awesome. He's got some of the best handles in the game like he's pretty tough to get the ball off and he's been scoring a bunch of goals this year which is great."
"To be able to get there without having to rely on the last game is awesome because that obviously makes it tough as we would have been playing off for a spot against each other so that lifts the pressure a little bit.
"I think we've made the semis now for five-six years in a row so it's starting not to become the norm but a sort of position that we are a lot more used to than we have been in the past."
FT | What a match! After trailing 5-1 early in the third quarter, @TassieTigersH1 stormed home with the last 5 goals of the match to secure their top four spot. Ockenden the star again with a hat-trick including a goal & clutch conversion with 70 seconds left! #HockeyOne#TIGvHCMpic.twitter.com/GpXcCKkgMn— Hockey One (@H1League) October 27, 2019
Molding together with several Australian junior players and strong Northern Tasmanian prospects in Kurt Budgeon and Kieron Arthur, the Tigers have picked up three victories in their five clashes.
"Kurt played really well in the games he's played and will certainly play more, I'm sure. Kiz has obviously been a stalemate for a few years now. I think he's in the development squad still so if he can keep playing well and flicking some goals then you never know."
Retiring from the Kookaburras' set-up in 2018, the 2014 World Cup winner has taken the next step in his career, bounding into masters competition alongside father Phil and has already gained Australian representation.
"Tassie weren't able to fill a team so I went and played with a few mates from ACT. It's a great tournament as it is a lot more relaxed, everyone hangs around and has a few beers after the game so it's a lot of fun. I've been looking forward to playing that for a really long time."
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