Bega's Michael Collins has returned home a world champion following a strong campaign by the Australian over 60s Masters field hockey team at the World Cup last month in Tokyo.
The tournament ran over 10 days, jam-packed with five pool play matches plus a semi final and final fixture.
The Australian side met up five days prior to the event in Tokyo to train together a few times and get accustomed to the local conditions.
Collins played left-midfield for the Australian side, and was thrilled with the result after how challenging the lead up had been for the team.
"Most of the training was done here individually, because we're all spread across the country. The only training that we had together as a unit was when we got over there," he said.
"There's only so much you can do by yourself, but I was trying to do something every day for the six to eight months leading up."
While the team went in to the tournament confident, memories of the last World Cup were still fresh, where the side had bowed out to Germany in the semi-finals.
After some close encounters during pool play, including a 1-1 draw with Scotland, the Aussies were able to progress to the semi finals, going undefeated and topping their pool.
In a tight match with Japan, the side managed to find the net in the final period to win 1-0 and set up a final showdown with England.
The Aussies took care of business, leading the entire final to win the final 2-1 and claim gold.
Off the pitch it's now back to work for Collins, with plenty to catch up on after his time overseas.
That is until next hockey season hits off, which he is already looking forward to.
"The next thing will be getting into next season. I play for a Canberra team as well as locally in the social comp.
"It's a really good competition, we get all sorts of ages and it's a mixed comp too."
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