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Bye, George! Bevan accepts Olympic dream over
Bevan George with his dog Bud on his farm in Cuballing. Pic: Paddy Seeney/WA News

Bevan George's dream to compete in London is over.

The 2004 Athens Olympic gold medallist and Beijing Olympic captain has conceded there is no chance of making the team for London after missing six weeks of training because of a knee injury.

The 35-year-old retired after leading the Kookaburras to bronze in Beijing but made an unexpected return midway through last year to train under coach Ric Charlesworth, who will be leading the men to the Olympics for the first time.

George said Charlesworth had finalised his squad to travel to Europe later this month and he was not in that group. He said he probably left his run a little too late and needed another six or eight months to give himself a realistic chance of being in the mix.

"It has been a worthwhile journey and I have enjoyed every minute of it but the injury unfortunately did not help my case," he said.

"It was always going to be a bit of a gamble and coaching staff were just not confident in my resilience to get through the tournament, and I understand their reasoning."

George said he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to train with the team in a bid to compete in a third Olympics. He hoped a week out would be enough to recover from the injury, but that wasn't the case and he had to move on, playing with the WA Thundersticks in the National Hockey League.

"It has been a great experience - hopefully there may be an opportunity to make a contribution in a coaching capacity at some stage down the track," George said.

He has gone back to the family farm in Cuballing, outside Narrogin, where his wife Jodie has been looking after their young family - Kayla, 5, Zoe, 3, and Matthew, 13 weeks.

Charlesworth said George made good progress but his ability to get through a two-week Olympic campaign was a concern.

"The dilemma he faced was that he is a 35-year-old athlete and we could only look at him if the situation was critical," Charlesworth said.

"We are taking a large squad of 28 players to Europe and no one is out of contention.

"Some of the players who are not going on the trip will be in the Olympic team, as was the case with the Hockeyroos in 2000."

It was always going to be a bit of a gamble … I understand their reasoning." Bevan George

The West Australian

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