Lovett's Kookaburras debut is the stuff dreams are made of

DEBUT: Kurt Lovett from Parkes made his Kookaburra's debut in the FIH Pro League against Great Britain on February 2 before a home crowd which included many family members. Photo: Steve Christo
DEBUT: Kurt Lovett from Parkes made his Kookaburra's debut in the FIH Pro League against Great Britain on February 2 before a home crowd which included many family members. Photo: Steve Christo

From feeling frustrated, then relieved, to being overwhelmed and then overjoyed - Kurt Lovett was certainly experiencing a whole range of emotions leading up to and during his debut with the Australian men's hockey team the Kookaburras.

But ask him yourself, it's the stuff dreams are made of.

The now 23-year-old had been working his entire hockey career up to that moment on February 2.

Lovett was named in the Kookaburras side for Australia's second FIH Pro League match against Great Britain at home at Sydney Olympic Park.

In sweltering heat, they produced a scintillating attacking display to thrash the British 5-1, moving the side up to third position on the table.

And in more exciting news, Lovett has just found out he'll be playing India in two weeks in Bhubaneswar at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium.

It was a nervous lead-up to Lovett's debut, when he arrived in Sydney eight days earlier with a handful of other Kookaburras.

When the former Parkes Hockey junior and Red Bend Catholic College captain was named in the Kookaburras 27-man squad last November, it meant a move to Perth after living in Sydney for a number of years.

"I moved to Perth at the start of January and then suddenly I was back in Sydney," he laughed.

"Some of us went to Sydney early to play [some practice games] with Belgium - Belgium was who Australia played in the Pro League a week prior."

During one of the matches, Lovett rolled his ankle.

"It was on ice for a while, then I was able to get back into training," he said.

"It was annoying because I was told I'd be debuting at some point, I just didn't know when.

"Then when I rolled my ankle I thought 'here we go' but I recovered well and I got a run."

Lovett found out the Friday morning before the Sunday game that he'd be making his debut.

"I was stoked I finally knew so I could let my family know," he said.

"I was hanging out for it, it was very relieving."

The striker described his debut as very overwhelming - given that it was at home and that he had a lot of family watching him.

It was a lot to take in.

But the best feeling came when Australia won.

"It was pretty awesome, especially being on debut," Lovett said.

"I did score a goal but it was benign because it was after the buzzer."

SOLID GAME: Former Parkes junior Kurt Lovett said his debut with the Kookaburras, against Great Britain, was very overwhelming but he had a solid game. Photo: Steve Christo

SOLID GAME: Former Parkes junior Kurt Lovett said his debut with the Kookaburras, against Great Britain, was very overwhelming but he had a solid game. Photo: Steve Christo

Except for facing Great Britain as a junior, it was Lovett's first time playing against the British seniors and his mind was focused on one thing.

"Just making sure I was doing the team process," he said.

"Making sure I did what I had to do for the team... I had a pretty solid game.

"We did a bit of research on them to prepare."

There was another thrilling advantage to debuting for Lovett.

"They would have done their research on us but because I've never played before they would never have heard of me, so I had free reign," he said.

"I could do my thing, especially up front... and surprise their full backs a bit."

Of course Lovett is only new to the Pro League competition and he's taking in every experience as a new Kookaburra.

"We're very lucky to be able to play international hockey on a regular basis," he said.

"We have a month in Europe during all of May.

"I'm a full-time athlete now so I guess I'm living the dream, this was always the dream.

"You just need to play well and train consistently."

Lovett is starting to adjust to the time zones in Perth but said the hardest part was communicating back home.

"I'm settling in good, the weather is beautiful and the beaches are beautiful, it's great," he said.

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