Kookaburra Dwyer hungrier than ever
Jamie Dwyer. Pic: Getty Images

At 33, Jamie Dwyer has had his fill of personal glory and team success with the Australian men's hockey team.

But his appetite is not yet sated. He's gorged himself on triumphs around the globe with the all- conquering Kookaburras, but he wants more.

The four-times world player of the year is as hungry as ever as the sun begins to set on his stellar career.

"The older you get the more you appreciate what you've done and what you're doing," Dwyer said as the Kookaburras prepare for their first game against South Africa today at 5.45pm, WA time.

"You want to make every post a winner, that's for sure. Hunger is the reason I keep doing what I'm doing, keep trying to become a better player because I'm hungry for it.

"I'm hungrier than ever probably because I know I don't have too long left to go in my body and my legs in my career."

Dwyer is rarely fazed on the hockey pitch and he remains convinced that the style of play promoted by coach Ric Charlesworth will hold the team in good stead in the cauldron of the Olympics.

Charlesworth has developed a game plan which requires the opposition to work ridiculously hard to find the back of their net.

Dwyer, a fan of rugby league and Australian Rules, likens it to a press in Australian football.

"It's a style created to suit our nature," he said.

"It's very aggressive, it puts a lot of pressure on the opposition and they have to really fight every time to get into our defensive circle.

"We make them work really hard, like the pressing game in the AFL I guess, and we do it probably better than any other team in the world. It's in the second halves of games when the opposition starts to get a bit tired that we can capitalise.

"As Ric says, it's like strangling the opposition. That's our plan, to keep wearing them down."

Dwyer, who will consider his future after the Olympics, is undaunted that the Kookaburras are raging favourites to win the gold medal, which would sit alongside the one he won in Athens in 2004 when he struck the winning goal in extra time against the Dutch.

The Kookaburras are rated No.1 in the world for good reason, having won every major international title since Charlesworth took over late in 2008.

"Our biggest advantage is that we have the weapons on the field," Dwyer said.

"It makes me feel a lot more relaxed to have players like Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Mark Knowles, Fergus Kavanagh and others who can break the game open."

Personally, Dwyer said it was tempting to extend his career for another two years to take in the next World Cup in The Hague, Holland, where he has played successfully in club competition.

"It's tempting to go on for two more years," he said. "My body feels good, I'm enjoying it and we've got a great bunch of guys. So I can't see why not.

"I'll see how I go here first and have a family break and have a think about it."

"I'm hungrier than ever probably because I know I don't have too long left." " *Jamie Dwyer *

The West Australian

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