'Taj' will continue to connect Jamie Dwyer with India post hockey

So impressed Dwyer was with the beauty of 17th century monument, he decided to name his second son 'Taj'.

PTI| Updated: Nov 29, 2015, 16:57 PM IST
'Taj' will continue to connect Jamie Dwyer with India post hockey

Raipur: Synonymous with Australian hockey with a mammoth 326 international games, the legendary Jamie Dwyer has a strong Indian connection too -- through his second son.

While representing Australia and playing in the Hockey India League later, Dwyer travelled across the length and breadth of India and on one such occasion he visited the Taj Mahal.

So impressed he was with the architectural beauty of the 17th century monument that Dwyer decided to name his second son 'Taj'.

"I like the name. He was born in the end of 2010 and in 2010 I was there in India for the World Cup which we won and the Commonwealth Games which too we won. During that time I visited the Taj Mahal and was fascinated by its beauty," Dwyer told PTI on the sidelines of the ongoing Hockey World League (HWL) Final.

"Taj in English means crown so I found it a cool name. He is a very cute little boy so for me he is Taj," he said about his second son, who will turn five on December 15 this year.

Dwyer is also a proud father of another son who was born earlier this year.

With 326 international appearances and more than 200 goals, the 36-year-old Dwyer is the most-capped Australian hockey player and a legend of the game.

"I think you have to keep challenging yourself, you have to keep improving. The game has changed so much since I started in 2001. It's a challenge to get along with the younger players and to maintain the team bonding," Dwyer said while talking about his longevity.

Even though he is in the last year of his international career, Dwyer is still going strong and is eyeing a record-equalling fourth Olympic campaign in Rio before bidding adieu to the game.

"It doesn't matter whether I am selected or not for the

Olympics, I will quit the game this year. 100 per cent sure this will be my last Olympics. And if I am selected I wish to win another Olympic gold for Australia but if I am not selected I will quit the game instantly," Dwyer said.

By his own admission, India has a special place in Dwyer's heart and the Australian wants to end on a high in what would be his last international tournament on the Indian soil, the ongoing HWL Final.

"I have played quite a lot of hockey in India. I do really enjoy coming here. The crowds are amazing. But sadly this is the last time I would be wearing the green and gold in India but I still may come here for the Hockey India League. So I just want to make the most of the opportunity. This tournament is a good challenge against some really good teams," he said.

Talking about his plans post retirement, Dwyer says he will return to the game in another role but not immediately.

"I am going to do a lot of hockey coaching. I want to give as much as possible back to the game in Australia or anywhere else. But straight after retiring I am going to take some time off as I need to spend a lot of time with my family. I need to enjoy life outside hockey. But I will definitely come back at some stage and give something back to hockey," he signed off.