Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager has called for the establishment of trans-Tasman hockey competitions similar to other sports to prevent both countries from lagging behind their European rivals.
European nations will claim both the men's and women's gold medals at the London Olympics, with the Netherlands having secured the women's title by beating Argentina 2-0 in the final on Friday.
The Black Sticks were denied a bronze medal after losing 3-1 to Great Britain earlier today.
The men's final on Saturday (7am Sunday NZ time) is between the Netherlands and Germany, with Great Britain facing Australia in the bronze medal play-off.
Hager, who gained 230 caps for Australia, says that, in his three-and-a half-years as New Zealand women's coach, he has suggested that New Zealand teams should play in the Australian hockey league.
He says he gets laughed at sometimes by people who argue that it won't happen.
"But if we don't get together, us and Australia, and even Asia, we're going to fall behind Europe," he said after the Black Sticks lost the women's bronze medal match 3-1 to Great Britain.
"Europe have a fantastic club competition, they have a fantastic European league."
With rugby, rugby league, men's basketball and netball all having competitions involving New Zealand and Australian sides, Hager wants hockey to do the same.
He believes there are enough quality players in New Zealand to field three men's and three women's teams.
Hager also said his preference was for New Zealanders not to play for European clubs.
"I would rather have them in my own backyard so we can coach them," he said.
"My feeling is that when players come back from overseas, they come back a little unfit. They have a good time and they are probably not where we want them to be."
However, he understands that going overseas is a great experience, while the New Zealand domestic competition is not strong enough to keep them at home.
Hockey NZ chief executive Hilary Poole says there have been talks with Australia about the possibility of trans-Tasman competition.
"There's several ways we could do it, but we are at the very, very early stage of discussions on how it would work," she said.
"What we need is an alternative to lift the quality of our regular competion and we're just looking at the different options for doing that."