Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League: Kookaburras champion Jamie Dwyer unable to help Wests beat Norths

WORLD CLASS: Jamie Dwyer in action for Wests on Saturday. Picture: Jonathan CarrollHIS CV is beyond compare.

Four Olympics, including a gold medal at Athens 2004. Five times world player of the year, 365 games for , and 243 goals –all records.

Jamie Dwyer might be one of hockey’s all-time greats, but at Broadmeadow on Saturday he was a mere mortal, a tad rusty in his first game for six months and unable to find the net in his guest stint for Wests, who lost 3-2 to Norths in theirHunter Coast Men’s Premier League season opener.

In his first game since ’s Rio 2016 campaign, the 38-year-old striker showed glimpses of his magic, in front of a healthy crowd more akin to a grand final than round one.

But he could not quite deliver a trademark, highlights-reel strike –possibly because his former Kookaburras teammate Matt Dawson was playing in defence for Norths.

“I haven’t played since Rio,’’ Dwyer told the Newcastle Herald.

“I haven’t done much exceptbe a retired man and enjoy a normal life. I probably haven’t looked after my body as I once used to.

“So it was my first hit-out and I was actually surprised that I could still trap a few balls and did a few things I used to be able to do.’’

While Dwyer is happily retired at international level, he hopes to play a few games for his club side in Perth this season.

“I miss representing my country, for sure,’’ the 38-year-oldsaid.

“Running outwearing the green and gold, representing your country, it’s the best thing.

“But I’m also happily retired.

“I know I can’t do it any more.It’s another two years until the World Cup, which would have been too long.

“I played 16 years for –four Olympics and four World Cups –and I’m happy with that.

“The thing I’m most proud of is that I gave it everything I had, mentally and physically.’’

It was Dwyer’s second appearance in Newcastle after playing in a Test for against New Zealand a decade ago.

He combined his appearance for the Rosellas on Saturday with a guest-speaking stint at the club’s season launch, and a coaching clinic on Saturday morning.

Elsewhere in round one, Souths thrashed University 8-1 on Sunday while Gosford overcame Maitland 6-3 at Wyong.

In the women’s competition, Regals reversed last year’s grand final loss to Central with a 4-1 victory on Saturday, Avoca Beach defeated Oxfords 2-0 while Souths and Tigers drew 1-all.