Author: Mitch Wynd
The finalists of the FIH Pro League have been decided, with the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos both aiming for Grand Final qualification.
Up first will be the Hockeyroos, who finished the Pro League home & away matches in third place with 30 points from their 16 matches.
They will face second-placed Argentina – a team that defeated them in regulation time (1-0 at Sydney in March) and in a shootout (3-1 after a 1-1 draw at Buenos Aires in May).
On the back of two consecutive losses to Belgium and the Netherlands in the leadup to the finals, the Hockeyroos will have to reverse their current form if they are to make the Grand Final, said Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin.
“Every game in the FIH Pro League has mattered. We’ve faced tough opponents and we’ve had to play our best. We still do. History shows that Argentina is a quality team and we’re really looking forward to playing against them in such a great stadium and in front of huge crowds,” Gaudoin said.
Meanwhile, the Kookaburras finished the Pro League at the top of the table, with 32 points from their 14 matches.
Their semi-final opponent will be Great Britain, who snatched fourth place away from Germany in the last match after a 2-0 home victory against New Zealand.
In the two matches between the teams, Australia won the first (2-0 at Perth in February), but were beaten in a shootout in the second (4-3 after a 2-2 draw at London).
After a shaky start to their European series of matches, the Kookaburras have won their last three matches against Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands to hit the finals in good form. Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch said the team has been working towards the finals and is ready to face some of the best teams in the world.
“The FIH Pro League has seen us play against the best over a six-month period. We’re really excited about the finals – we’ve been working towards this point since January and now we’re here. The renovated stadium is fantastic, and we know that the hockey fans will make it a great experience for us,” said Batch.
Both matches will be televised live on Kayo Sports and FOX SPORTS. The Hockeyroos match is on Friday morning (Fox Sports 507 - 1:15am AEST) and the Kookaburras on Saturday morning (Fox Sports 506 - 1:15am AEST).
Follow both @Hockeyroos & @Kookaburras for live match updates.
FIH Pro League Semi-Finals – Wagener Hockey Stadium, Amstelveen
Hockeyroos v Argentina – Friday 28 June - 1:15am AEST
Kookaburras v Great Britain – Saturday 29 June - 1:15am AEST
Hockeyroos 19-member squad:
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Emily Chalker (Crookwell, NSW)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Kalindi Commerford (Ulladulla, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Rebecca Greiner (Bundaberg, QLD)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC)
Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Sophie Taylor (Melbourne, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)
Kookaburras 21-member squad:
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Jacob Anderson (Mackay, QLD)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Tim Brand (Chatswood, NSW)
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)
Jack Hayes (Wollongong, NSW)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)
Lachlan Sharp (Lithgow, NSW)
Josh Simmonds (Melbourne, VIC)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Corey Weyer (Biggera Waters, QLD)
Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)