Announcing Australia‘s Women’s Hockey team, Hockeyroos squad for next week’s International Super Series and Tests against World Champions Argentina, Head Coach Adam Commens says he will use the contests to set his side up for the forthcoming Oceania Cup and World League Finals.
Commens today named his squad for the innovative 9-a-side International Super Series, which gets underway at Perth Hockey Stadium a week on Thursday and will be shown on ABC 1.
Amongst a host of star names in the 18-athlete squad, three of the Hockeyroos’ London Olympians are set to return with Jade Close (NSW), Kobie McGurk and Jayde Taylor (both WA) included. For McGurk and Taylor, selection marks a welcome conclusion to lengthy spells sidelined through injury.
Neither of the WA pair has played for the Hockeyroos since the London Olympic Games more than 12 months ago with McGurk having undergone a knee reconstruction to repair damage to her anterior cruciate ligament and Taylor only just returning from foot surgery.
In all, 11 of the squad were members of the Hockeyroos side that triumphed at the World League semi-final tournament in London in June, qualifying Australia for a place at the 2014 World Cup and November’s World League Finals in Tucumán, Argentina.
World Young Player of the Year Anna Flanagan (ACT), captain and two-time Olympian Madonna Blyth (QLD), WA home favourite Ashleigh Nelson (WA) and former World Young Player of the Year Casey Eastham (NSW) are all included, as are Edwina Bone (ACT), Jane Claxton (SA), Kirstin Johnson (QLD), Rachael Lynch (VIC), Claire Messent (VIC), Jodie Schulz (QLD) and Georgie Parker (SA).
Rebecca Reuter and U21 Jillaroos goalkeeper Audrey Smith join the squad on the back of a successful Australian Hockey League campaign with Queensland Scorchers, while Smith’s Junior World Cup teammate Brooke Peris (NT) and South Australia’s Bianca Joyce are also named.
In preparation for next week’s tournament, the Hockeyroos will face World Champions and Olympic silver medallists Argentina in three full tests. Northern Territory’s Australian U21 goalkeeper Elizabeth Duguid will join up with the squad for the Argentina tests.
Announcing the squad, Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said, “We’ve named a side that we know will be competitive and it’s pleasing to be able to give an opportunity to several players that haven’t had much of a chance in 2013 so far, such as Kobie McGurk and Jayde Taylor who are coming back from long term injuries.
“We’re entering a very busy phase of competition and we’re looking to prepare our players to peak at both the Oceania Cup and the World League Finals, which is something that has to be carefully planned. The International Super Series and the Argentina Tests form an important element of our preparation for those tournaments.”
Highlighting the opportunity the Series offers athletes to showcase themselves against some of the world’s top sides, Commens said, “We’ve seen in the past how the International Super Series can offer athletes an opportunity to stake a claim. If you look at Eddie Bone, she made her breakthrough in the Hockey 9s last year and has become more of a regular part of our squad this year. Rebecca Reuter did well last year, too, and we want to give her a chance in the 11-a-side Tests against Argentina this time.”
A four day festival of hockey, this year’s International Super Series Hockey 9s will provide something for every member of the family, including a Fans’ Fun Zone where younger visitors will be able to pick up a Hookin2Hockey stick and give the sport a go. And there will be plenty of opportunities to meet the stars of the show, Australia’s Olympian hockey heroes, with the chance to pose for a photo with members of the Hockeyroos team.
Hockeyroos squad for International Super Series Hockey 9s:
17-20 October 2013, Perth, WA: Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT), Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD), Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA), Jade Close (Wagga Wagga, NSW), Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW), Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT), Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD), Bianca Joyce (Balaklava, SA), Rachael Lynch (GK) (Melbourne, VIC), Kobie McGurk (Willetton, WA), Claire Messent (Melbourne, VIC), Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA), Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA), Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT), Rebecca Reuter (Brisbane, QLD), Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD), Audrey Smith (GK) (Wynnum, QLD), Jayde Taylor (Bunbury, WA),
Additional athlete for three Test series v Argentina
12, 14, 15 October 2013, Perth, WA: Elizabeth Duguid (GK) (Darwin, NT),
Fixtures – International Super Series Hockey 9s
17-20 October 2013, Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth, WA
Thursday 17 October
5:30pm AWST / 8:30pm AEDT – Argentina (w) v Canada (w)
6:25pm AWST / 9:25pm AEDT – Hockeyroos (w) v Malaysia (w)
7:20pm AWST / 10:20pm AEDT – Kookaburras (m) v Argentina (m)
8:15pm AWST / 11:15pm AEDT – Pakistan (m) v Malaysia (m)
Friday 18 October
5:30pm AWST / 8:30pm AEDT – Argentina (w) v Malaysia (w)
6:25pm AWST / 9:25pm AEDT – Kookaburras (m) v Malaysia (m)
7:20pm AWST / 10:20pm AEDT – Hockeyroos (w) v Canada (w)
8:15pm AWST / 11:15pm AEDT – Pakistan (m) v Argentina (m)
Saturday 19 October
12:20pm AWST / 3:20pm AEDT – Canada (w) v Malaysia (w)
1:15pm AWST / 4:15pm AEDT – Hockeyroos (w) v Argentina (w)
2:05pm AWST / 5:05pm AEDT – Pakistan (m) v Kookaburras (m)
3:00pm AWST / 6:00pm AEDT – Argentina (m) v Malaysia (m)
Sunday 20 October
10:30am AWST / 1:30pm AEDT – Men’s 3rd v 4th
11:40am AWST / 2:40pm AEDT – Women’s 3rd v 4th
12:50pm AWST / 3:50pm AEDT – Women’s Final
2:00pm AWST / 5:00pm AEDT – Men’s Final
Fixtures – Hockeyroos v Argentina
Saturday 12 October 4:00pm AWST / 7:00pm AEDT – Hockeyroos v Argentina
Monday 14 October 7:00pm AWST / 10:00pm AEDT – Hockeyroos v Argentina
Tuesday 15 October 7:00pm AWST / 10:00pm AEDT – Hockeyroos v Argentina