(Photo: FIH)

More than 70 teams are starting to assemble for the Masters and Grand Masters happening alongside the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague from 5-13 June. We caught up with the Australian Over-45 (O45) men's team and if anyone was in any doubt as to the spirit in which Masters hockey is played, this Facebook entry from the Australia O45 home page should tell you all you need to know.

"As we head off from points North, South, East and West to gather in Europe, excel in the fact you are representing your club, state and country in the next three weeks. Wear with pride the green and gold - it is an honour and a privilege. 

Over the next 21 days you will play with some great blokes, see some amazing skill and make some lasting friendships.

From the precision of the Germans, the pizzazz of the Spanish and the hard grind of the English you will play against some great teams and excellent players. But remember we've come up through the hard school of state and national championships, and we've been selected as being the best 045 players in Australia and thus some of the best in the world at this level.

We will go well. We have the cattle and the drive to win this. Focus on the job in hand. Respect the opposition. Play hard, play well. Go Aussies."

Teams from 21 nations are represented in men's and women's competitions at different age categories. Among the teams playing are Ghana, Egypt, USA, Russia, Italy and Austria, demonstrating once again, just how global the game of hockey, at all ages, has become.


For more about the Masters Hockey World Cup Click visit: mastershockeyworldcup2014.com and Follow them on Facebook.