NEXT MOVE: Ipswich-bred Australia A hockey player Tim Bates (right) is hoping to re-establish his place in the Kookaburras squad.
NEXT MOVE: Ipswich-bred Australia A hockey player Tim Bates (right) is hoping to re-establish his place in the Kookaburras squad. Getty Images

Bates in mix for Aussie recall

FRESH from his Australian Hockey League goalfest, Ipswich product Tim Bates is waiting for his next national opportunity.

That will hopefully come next month after the 2013 Australian squad is named.

Bates, 24, met with Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth on Wednesday night "to see what's going on".

"They're naming the national squad in December," Bates said.

"He just gave me a rundown of when things are happening and my AHL."

With the focus on youth next year after the recent London Olympics, Bates is optimistic of being considered.

"There's been a couple of retirements but it will be interesting to see what the make-up of the squad will be like," Bates said.

"Hopefully I'll get named in it and we'll go from there.

"Ric doesn't really give you too much but he said he was happy with my progress over the last 12 months.

"He said I've developed and had a good AHL."

Bates relocated to Perth three years ago to further his national career. He's toured Europe with the Kookaburras and has played in a number of Australia A games since winning a bronze medal at the 2009 Junior World Cup.

But having missed selection in last year's Olympic team, Bates is keen to re-establish his place in the national squad.

He played for Western Australia for the first time during the latest AHL series.

Although Queensland beat Western Australia 3-2 in last weekend's grand final, Bates was pleased with his tournament.

Bates scored eight goals for his new state, including a hat-trick aginst NSW in the Thundersticks' 3-1 semi-final victory.

"I was pretty happy with my AHL," Bates said. "Eight goals was the most I've scored."

Bates had shared in a number of Queensland AHL title successes since his Blades debut in 2007.

He took the challenge tackling Queensland in his stride.

"It was a bit of fun, playing against them in the final," Bates said. "It was always going to be tough.

"I wasn't sure what to expect but everyone knew why I did it just because I needed the preparation.

"We're all mates so it's all fine."

Bates said playing for the Thundersticks reflected his commitment to developing his hockey in the west.

"I've got a girlfriend over here now, I've got a job (electrician)," he said, sounding settled.

"I can't see myself coming home anytime soon."

Bates returned home briefly last month for his identical twin Michael's engagement party.

Michael is getting married in May next year, having stepped down from representative commitments after the twins played in similar sides most of their lives.



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