Jamie Dwyer has more tricks in his bag than most of the world's most skilled hockey players but the Australian striker will have less time to devote to his passion for the stick and ball now that he has a baby boy.
Dwyer, his Dutch-born wife Leoni and five-month-old son Julian returned to the Netherlands on Monday to play for Bloemendaal in their national league, after helping Australia qualify for next year's World Cup at the Oceania Cup against New Zealand in Invercargill.
Dwyer is one of six Kookaburras, alongside Des Abbott, Mark Knowles, Eli Matheson, Eddie Ockenden and Luke Doerner, who will spend the next six weeks in the Netherlands before rejoining the national team for the Champions Trophy, in Melbourne from November 28 to December 6.
Dwyer said communication with his club team in the Netherlands and Australia's coach Ric Charlesworth was crucial if he was to peak at the right time.
"You have to plan your year very thoroughly to make sure you're always at your best," Dwyer said.
"Last week in New Zealand, we did well to qualify for the World Cup, which has allowed us to focus on this year's big event in Melbourne.
"My life has changed dramatically in the last few months and it has certainly got me used to waking up early in the morning," he added.
"Your priorities change and you have to factor a baby into your day, but I must say I have enjoyed it."
Dwyer has to do a lot more planning than in the past.
"I used to be pretty laid back and took every day as it came but not so much now because I have to look at having more security financially," he said. "It has not affected my hockey because that's my job, it's just a matter of trying to make it work.
The Champions Trophy, which is the biggest hockey event after the Olympics and World Cup, comprises the top six-ranked teams in world.The tournament will pit the best teams against each other for the first time since the Beijing Olympics.
Should smoking be banned in all outdoor public areas?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.