Saturday, 9 July 2016

Rio 2016: Lovell looking to make competition for Charter

With the squad lists starting to be finalised for the Olympic games, there are a few international teams with the hard choice of choosing one goalkeeper over the other as their first choice, like Germany (with Spack), Holland (Blaak also being given the opportunity to prove himself) and Australia. It is always a luxury to have the problem of making the hard decision of deciding on the absolute goalkeeper to start every game, rather than being a problem in itself. And with squads not taking a reserve goalie to allow more room for subtitutions and that extra man on the bench, that decision becomes even more paramount.

Lovell is a bit of a late bloomer (although Australia's tried and proven method of letting their goalkeepers mature until giving them senior international experience might actually be helping him) and after being noticed in AHL competition, a recent inclusion in the Indian premier league has really helped him bloom as a goalkeeper of international level quality. In competition with himself, George Bazeley and Andrew Charter (who has until now had the lion's share of games in international competitions), he has pushed himself to a higher level of playing ability and grown in determination and confidence 'between the sticks'.

The IPL seems to be bringing a fair amount of talent over from Oceania and Tristan Clemons (fellow Australia squad goalkeeper) has also played in the league, with Bazeley and New Zealand starter Devon Manchester travelling over to compete in the professional league.

In an interview last year, Lovell pointed to his game experience playing in the IPL being a turning point in helping along his development to play at the international stage:

Being given the starting spot for the Champion's Trophy might allude to the coaches' choice, but it will be interesting to see who gets included in the final team sheet for Rio.

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