Emerging athlete of the month – Nathan Ephraums


By Brad Marais


The Kookaburras striker is the winner of the Commonwealth Games Australia emerging athlete of the month for July.


Hailing from Keysborough, Victoria, it was Nathan Ephraums’ father who he credits with making him “join in for training from a young age” and nurturing his love of hockey, a love that saw Nathan selected for the Kookaburras Team for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Ephraums debuted for the Victorian Australian Hockey League (AHL) team in 2018 and quickly established himself as one of the most promising talents in the program.

But it was Ephraums’ play for the Hockey Club Melbourne Squad in 2019, after an overhaul of the AHL league, that put his name on the radar for national selectors.

After a season of strong performances for HC Melbourne, the then 20-year-old earned a call-up to the Australian Development Squad, where after a solid year he was elevated to the Australian National team at the end of 2019 and set his sights on a Kookaburras debut.



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Like a vicious tomahawk, Ephraums continued his rapid rise, earning his international debut cap for the Kookaburras in early 2020 against Great Britain in Sydney during the FIH Pro League tournament, but as his career was on a rise, the global COVID-19 pandemic forced the pause of international hockey and the pause to his promising international career.

After narrowly missing selection for the Tokyo Olympics team, Ephraums stamped his mark early in 2022, proving to be one of the most reliable goal scorers in the Kookaburra’s lineup.

With a stellar campaign in a four-game series in New Zealand, that saw the young Victorian score a bag full of goals, Ephraums was selected for the Kookaburra’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games team.

“Being selected for the Commonwealth Games team was an amazing feeling and felt like a great acknowledgement for the work I have been putting in for a prolonged period,” Ephraums said.

Successfully scoring two goals and winning a gold medal in the final against India at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games last month capped off a surreal tournament for ‘Nephy’, as he is fondly called, and one of his career highlights to date.



“In our 7-0 victory, all of us could really embrace the fact that we were 100% going to win the gold,” Ephraums said.

“It’s not often you know this before the game is over… so to get to really feel this while playing was awesome.”

Looking ahead, Ephraums’ aim is to “cement his spot” on the Kookaburras by aiming to be selected for both the Hockey World Cup team, who will compete in India in early 2023, and the Olympic team that will head to Paris in 2024.

“Winning gold is the ultimate goal of any hockey player,” Ephraums said.

After a stellar 2022 campaign, the prospect of a golden future is becoming a reality for the emerging Australian talent.

Commonwealth Games Australia has a focus on supporting emerging talent and celebrating the next generation of Australian sports stars.

Over the course of 2022, an athlete will be recognised each month as the Commonwealth Games Australia emerging athlete of the month and will receive a $500 gift certificate as a contribution towards their training expenses.

Three finalists from the monthly winners will be invited to the 2023 Commonwealth Games Australia Presidents Function where one will be named the Commonwealth Games Australia Emerging Athlete of the Year.

The annual winner, selected by the Awards Sub Committee will receive a $5000 CGA scholarship toward their sporting career.



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