Elder shoots for better luck in '06
By LEE GASKIN
BUNDABERG born and bred Kookaburra Troy Elder has refreshed the batteries before hopefully reclaiming his place on the national team.
Elder is serving a 12-month suspension after he declared himself unavailable for an invitational tournament in May which clashed with his club commitments.
A part of the triumphant Olympic team in 2004, Elder said he was eagerly counting down the months before he could yet again don the green and gold.
"I desperately want to play again and be back on the field,'' Elder said.
"I'm disappointed not to be out there and be among my mates on the team.''
The latest accomplishment of the national side was their Champions Trophy victory in India, and Elder could not be happier.
"They're playing well, and still riding the wave of success from Athens,'' he said.
The 28-year-old heads back to his Dutch club mid February in preparation for the second half of the season.
With one of his main aims being to fight his way back on to the international stage, Elder will forgo his overseas club commitments before the finals to take part in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) in May.
"To be eligible for the national team I need to play in the AHL, so I'm going to come back and captain Queensland,'' he said.
"(Orange and Black) understand the situation, and I'm over there basically bringing their young players through as they go into a transition period.''
While he will miss the Commonwealth Games in March, the opportunity to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in Beijing is something Elder has not ruled out.
"If the body is able to then I'd definitely want to be there,'' he said.