The future looks bright for the Australian Kookaburras regardless of what colour Olympic medal they have hanging around their neck on Thursday night (August 5).
While the dream around the country is that it will be gold, former Kookaburras and now Camden Haven Anacondas defender, Matthew Butturini, maintains they're in a "really good spot" heading into Paris 2024.
Players such as Blake Govers (25), Matthew Dawson (27), Lachlan Sharp (24) and Tim Howard (25) will all still be eligible for selection in three years' time.
"They're definitely not an older team in terms of age demographic," Butturini said.
"The thing with a lot of the young guys coming through is that they have only been around for a handful of games so they're in really good stead going into the next Olympic cycle.
"There might be a few guys that retire between now and then, but I would hazard a guess the majority of (the Tokyo) group will be together going into the next Olympics which bodes well.
"There might be a few guys that retire between now and then, but I would hazard a guess the majority of (the Tokyo) group will be together going into the next Olympics which bodes well."Matthew Butturini
"The younger guys have really stood up in what has been their first Olympics."
Butturini won bronze with Australia at the 2012 London Olympics and moved to the Hastings earlier this year.
Australia hasn't featured in an Olympic Games gold medal match since Athens in 2004 before the hopes and dreams of a nation were then dashed in Beijing, London and Rio.
Butturini said while they would be disappointed if they ended up with silver, they had endured a much more difficult lead-up than many of their European opponents.
"The Kookaburras always go into each Olympics campaign as one of the favourites and the expectation we carry on ourselves as a nation and they would carry in too is they have the potential to win," he said.
"The Kookaburras always go into each Olympics campaign as one of the favourites and the expectation we carry on ourselves as a nation and they would carry in too is they have the potential to win."Matthew Butturini
"Of course they would be disappointed to come so close, but given the lead-up they have had and the lack of international competition, they'd be very happy with where they are at and what they have achieved - and they should be."
Butturini said the success of the Kookaburras' Tokyo campaign would have a positive flow-on effect into domestic and local competitions.
"The fact the guys have the opportunity just to play for gold I think has captured the nation a bit in terms of their success," he said.
"I went down to a junior session earlier this week in Port Macquarie and the kids all seem pretty excited about the prospect of the guys playing and they've all been tuning in which is great to see.
"For a young and budding up-and-coming hockey player you don't get to see the level of international hockey on TV that often so when it is around at the Olympics, the kids sit around and watch.
"Hopefully that can create some more dreams towards playing for Australia particularly with Brisbane getting the 2032 Games."
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