Dan Robertson has praised Fareham’s community feel for helping him settle into life in England.
The 22-year-old Aussie arrived from Freemantle, Western Australia, just under two months ago to spend the season at Fareham.
Last term’s overseas player, Daniel Sampey, recommended the club to good friend Robertson, who jumped at the chance to experience a completely different style of hockey.
And it seems the Australian has fitted right in at Henry Cort.
‘The club has been so welcoming to me,’ he said.
‘I’ve enjoyed the club environment.
‘Everyone knows each other and you can see that it’s a really strong community.
‘I have that back home but to get that when you’re not at home is fantastic.
‘I absolutely love being in England. I was a bit apprehensive to start off with because I had no idea what it was going to be like, but I’m really glad I came – I’m really enjoying it.’
Robertson has played for Olde Aquinians, based in Salter Point, since the age of 11 and started making state teams around the age of 15.
He was also involved in the under-21 squad in the run-up to the 2013 World Cup in India, but did not feature in the first team.
Robertson, who is currently living in Westleigh Park, said: ‘Last year I missed out on a couple of teams and used that time to take a step back and re-evaluate where I’m at and where I want to go.
‘I think I played a lot better hockey after that when I was just doing it for the fun of it.
‘I think after having that foot in the door to international representation, it’s given me a better platform to go for it again.
‘It’s absolutely still on the agenda but probably not until the next Olympic cycle.’
For now, Robertson’s focus is on learning the English style of play.
He added: ‘It’s always good to have a second angle on things.
‘In Australia we press hard and non-stop, whereas here it’s a bit more patient, consolidated, and you wait for the opportunity.
‘Whereas we try to force a mistake earlier so we’re not having to come back into our half and defend from there.’