12/16/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/16/2018 10:57
Danny Kerry is excited about England's future after their fourth-placed finish in the Hockey World Cup, turning his focus towards Tokyo 2020.
Tom Craig's hat-trick and a brace for Jeremy Hayward gave Australia a comfortable 8-1 triumph in India as England missed out on a bronze medal to the world's number one side.
Barry Middleton scored a consolation for England but they were unable to replicate the form that helped them beat Olympic champions Argentina in the quarter-finals.
It is the third time in a row England have finished fourth at a World Cup and while Kerry was frustrated with their final two results - they were also defeated 6-0 by Belgium in the semi-finals - he remained upbeat about his side's progress.
'When we stuck to our game, we competed at this event but against the leading teams, we could not do that consistently enough,' said the England coach.
'We were well-punished by Australia for forcing play and turning the ball over. That's a hard lesson to learn but we will.
'My job is to keep perspective, remind ourselves of what we have done well and be compassionately ruthless in developing our play toward qualifying for the Tokyo Games.
'We have blooded young players in the toughest of environments and tried to stretch the game of more established players. On a personal level therefore, I am already excited about where we go next and how.'
England started on the front foot as they looked for a response to Saturday's loss to Belgium but it was Australia who fashioned the first opportunity of the game.
Glovers made no mistake with his next opportunity as he raced forward following a midfield steal by Craig before slamming his reverse shot from the edge of the D past Harry Gibson.
Craig then turned from provider to scorer in the next Australian move, prodding the ball home over Gibson after the England keeper had made a fine save from his initial effort.
Kerry's side finished the first quarter on the up, though, earning a free hit and testing Tyler Lovell in the Australia goal with a rocket shot from Liam Ansell, which he parried away.
But the second quarter started much like the first as Craig soon doubled his tally following a well-worked team move from Australia as they took a commanding 3-0 lead into half-time.
The third quarter started with another England penalty corner but it was Kookaburras who found the back of the net again as Trent Mitton scored his first goal of the Hockey World Cup.
Tim Brand added to England's woes with a fifth goal before Craig sealed his hat-trick just moments later, but Kerry's side continued to create chances and earned a further penalty corner.
Their efforts were eventually rewarded just before the final quarter as Middleton swept the ball home past Lovell for his second of the tournament.
It proved only a consolation, however, as Australia capped off an impressive performance with a late brace for Hayward, who completed the 8-1 win to seal the bronze medal.