A week of highs and lows
TO SAY the Brown family has experienced a week of highs and lows would be an understatement.
Kiel Brown and older sister Hope Munro represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in hockey, but have fallen agonisingly short of repeating the feat in London.
Despite being a regular in the Kookaburras squad, Brown's name was missing when the team for London was read out on Monday.
That disappointment was tempered somewhat for the Toowoomba family on Tuesday when Munro was named in the women's Hockeyroos squad for the Games, capping a successful comeback from retirement.
To complete an up-and-down three days for the high-achieving family, sister Prue became engaged on Sunday, her boyfriend proposing after they crossed the finish line in the Perth Marathon.
Their father Neil said the engagement and Hope's selection had helped make up for the disappointment of seeing Kiel miss out.
He said Hope's selection for her second Olympic Games was just reward for her decision to come out of retirement last year, made more difficult by having to juggle work commitments with the West Australian Football Commission as well as raising her two children, nine-year-old Ella and six-year-old Olivia.
"She's done exceedingly well to balance hockey and work and motherhood," Neil said. "I think it gave her a balance, that her life wasn't consumed by hockey."
While Kiel was left out of the 16-man Kookaburras team, the family's dream of a brother-and-sister act in London is not completely over.
Coach Ric Charlesworth admitted as many as six players in the squad were carrying injuries.
Some of those will be sidelined when the team completes in preparation in Australia with three matches against New Zealand in Cairns starting tomorrow.
Kiel has been included in the squad for that series, Neil saying a late call-up was still a possibility.
"It's interesting. The boys team, a whole pile of them are still injured. I'm not sure the 16 that are selected will play (in London)," Neil said. "I think injury might play a part. But Kiel isn't hanging his hat on getting in."
At 28, the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro might be too far away for Kiel who plans to play in the Australia Hockey League competition later this year.
"I think this will be the end for him," Neil said. "I think after the AHL he'll make a decision.
"(But) he did say he was keen to push on to 2014 with the next World Cup."