1989 Australia Tour

A 2nd more detailed report for this tour is available here.

The 1989 Hockey Digest report is available here.

The tour party of 16 players and wives set out on 9th February. The tour was planned to last 6 weeks, starting in Bangkok, moving on to Perth and then South & Eastern Australia, before returning via Singapore.
Although the opposition was fierce and success limited on the field, the sheer enjoyment of the sunshine and being on the other side of the world meant the tour was a huge success. It set the pattern for future tours, establishing a maximum length of about 3 weeks and that each stop should, as far as possible, be a minimum of 3 days so that not only could hockey be played but allowing time to see the local sights as well as to sunbathe and rest.
At some of the destinations, the party were billeted and, although this fell out of fashion for tours beyond 1994, it meant that some long standing personal and club friendships were made - especially in Townsville, Queensland, with whom the Ancient Britons still have a close association.

Bangkok: a 4-2 win in the first game, under floodlights at The Royal Sporting Club.
Adelaide: a 7-1 hiding but against the South Australia State Veterans XI who were under the impression that we were all ex-internationals.
Canberra: lost 6-5 in the final minute and there was 'another barbeque, more drink and more songs'.
Sydney: the game started in a temperature over 95 degrees. Players put their hands up when they wanted a rest and went off for a drink and a dousing before resuming. We won!!
Cairns: a team from England was such a rarity (in those days) that well over 30 turned up wanting to play us. Being Brits (and having a few substitutes) we played 2 games one after the other, on pretty long grass, losing one and drawing the other.

Townsville: we played on a new astro losing 1-0 in the best game of the tour. Before the game, each player was asked to run onto the pitch individually so that his name could be announced on the tannoy - to large cheers!!
Singapore: our last game was played in a torrential downpour for much of the first half. Then, some 45 minutes after the match, such was the humidity that, despite mant showers each, we weren't getting any drier or cooler, so we dressed anyway.

We returned in time to play a debriefing game on Easter Monday at the Bournemouth Festival and decide 'we must do that again'.