Elder back in Bundaberg because he loves it
REGARDLESS of the sport an Olympic gold medal is the most sought after trophy an athlete competes for and Bundaberg's Troy Elder earned one with the Kookaburras at the 2004 Athens games.
And when a player has been at the pinnacle of their sport it can be hard to come back down and go back to where it all began, but not Elder because Saturday he will lead his Brisbane club team, Bulimba Bulls, on to Hinkler Park for an exhibition match against the Bundaberg All Stars.
Elder last played in his home team in 2006 for All Blacks when he was in between European seasons and he said he was looking forward to getting out for his first competitive game in 2014.
As a player who has achieved more than most in hockey Elder could retire from playing, knowing he did his country and sport proud but he said there was a few things keeping him in the game.
"I play because I want to show the guys I am out there because I want to be out there," Elder said.
"And for coaching I want to see the outcome of the training and I enjoy helping develop players' skills and seeing them make representative teams."
Before Elder made these comments during a break from his job as a project manager for a construction company Elder proved his love for the sport. In 2008 Elder smashed his sinus cavity in a head clash with an opposition player in Brisbane and 14 months later he made his return.
The game will played after the Bundaberg Hockey Association holds its sign on at Hinkler Park and it will be a good test to see if the players from both teams are ready for the season.
For Elder and his Bulimba players the game will be a good break from the rigorous fitness training they have been doing.
"It's going to be hot, but the boys are keen to get a trip away and play some hockey," he said.
This year is the third as coach for Elder and he said he was aiming to get the club back into the grand final like it was in 2013, Bulimba placed fourth last season after injuries killed any hopes of a repeat performance.
Along with the exhibition game Elder will also be hosting coaching clinics at 12.30pm for children aged three to 10 and 2pm for 11-16 year olds.
Senior players will have the opportunity to register to participate in Coaching Session to be held at 9.30am on Sunday 1st March. Participants must contact email@example.com to register.
Get Into Hockey
Where: Hinkler Park, North Bundaberg.
When: Saturday: Noon.
Exhibition game: 4.30pm.