Maitland's Simon Orchard catches up with Josh Callinan and reflects on making his Olympic debut, the Kookaburras 6-0 victory against South Africa, looks ahead to game two versus Spain on Wednesday (8.30am and 5.30pm AEST) and talks about chasin LeBron James at the opening ceremony.
Josh: How did it feel to finally be out there competing at an Olympic Games?
Simon: Obviously a few boys were full of nerves and it was actually one of the first times in my career that I've had a few butterflies in the tummy.
I think it was more a feeling of excitement and listening to the anthem actually stirred up a fair few feelings in me.
Just knowing that I was realising one of my childhood dreams and that a lot of hard work has finally paid off. I was about to be an Olympian!
There were a lot of Aussies in the crowd, including Mum, Dad, Josh [brother] and Airz [girlfriend] and that made the experience even better.
Josh: Could you have asked for a better start to the Olympic campaign?
Simon: Solid start to the campaign. If we were told we would win 6-0 before the match we would have taken it with arms wide open.
We didn't finish very well, had a fair few corners that weren't quite slick enough and some basic skill errors let us down, especially in the first half. South Africa are a very physical, hard nosed side and there are a few bumps and bruises but very glad to get that one out of the way and now we can settle into the competition.
Josh: What happened with that yellow card?
Simon: Yeah the yellow was silly.
With three minutes to go it was just some lazy defending and too much aggression on my behalf.
They were being very physical all match and it's a fine line between over exuberance and proper tackling.
I don't think the umpires handled the match well at all, we had five cards to their one even though both sides were just trying to play hard hockey.
Josh: Looking forward, what improvements can be made for the game against Spain?
Simon: We have a training session today so we will tidy up some PC stuff, mainly our sequence and getting guys in the right spots.
We might do some goal scoring work and just clean up our skills ahead of Spain.
They have a massive setback with captain Santi Freixa breaking his arm yesterday (the tough bloke played on one handed, ridiculous) but he is ruled out now.
They have a heap of good players though and we will have to be very vigilant to keep them in check.
Josh: And finally, describe the opening ceremony experience (I heard you were chasing LeBron James around the stadium.
Simon: The opening ceremony was awesome!
Such a great experience, even though the Poms barely cheered for us.
The time and effort put into staging such a wonderful event was definitely worth it and it was an occasion I will never forget.
I got to within arms distance of my favourite sportsmen LeBron James, which was amazing and the whole night was unbelievable.