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Two Towns in Manchester

25 July 2002

The New Zealand men’s hockey team arrive at the 2002 Commonwealth Games featuring one of the more unusual family relationships in international sport.

Simon Towns of New Zealand

Simon Towns looking forward to taking on old rivals Australia

Simon Towns finds himself being coached by his dad, Kevin.

However, Si, as he is known to his team mates, says that so far it has not caused any problems.

“The players accept it with no questions. We make an effort to have a clear distinction. He doesn’t get called dad around hockey, he’s KT on tours and he’s dad when we go out for a meal.”

Looking forward to the tournament he said: “We’ve had a relatively good preparation. We’ve been to Holland, Belgium and Germany for three weeks doing a hard training phase.”

Towns is particularly enthusiastic about playing Australia in their opening pool game, saying: “Absolutely our hardest game, but we love playing Australia. It’s old rivalries, fierce rivalries. We usually push them pretty hard."

“Our key game is most definitely South Africa to determine probable second and third place in our pool. If we can nobble Australia, all the better… we’re very much wanting to come at least second in our pool and then looking to progress from there."

“You’re realistically looking at Australia, Pakistan, England, and hopefully ourselves, to reach the last four.”

He added: “Great pitches here. The boys are really happy.”

Info News Service/gd/ks/dm/jp

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