Batch names Kookaburras team for Olympic qualifiers

Author: Nic Kerber

The Kookaburras team that will attempt to achieve qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the upcoming Oceania Cup has been announced.

Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch finalised his 18-player team for the tournament to be held in Rockhampton, Queensland from 5-8 September 2019.

The Oceania Cup comprises a best-of-three match series against New Zealand for both the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos, and doubles as the qualifiers for Tokyo 2020.

Nine of the 18 players selected by Batch have made over 100 Kookaburras appearances, while the least experienced member of the squad, 22 year old Jacob Anderson who heralds from Mackay just north of Rockhampton, has also been included for the crunch matches.

Fellow Queenslander Daniel Beale is another to be named, the midfielder’s inclusion based on passing a fitness test later this week having recovered from a hip flexor injury.


“He (Beale) has to pass a fitness test on Friday but he is making good progress and we’re very confident he’ll be right to go,” said Batch.


On the flipside, experienced forward Trent Mitton has been ruled out after injuring his hamstring on the weekend.


“It didn’t look good but I still wanted to get the medical staff to assess him to be absolutely sure,” said Batch on Mitton’s setback.


“We’ve got a couple of injuries which is all part of it, but it’s obviously disappointing for them as players and us as a team.”


Considering the Kookaburras’ squad depth and sustained success over recent times that has seen them currently hold down the number one world ranking, Batch admits selection for the team was difficult.


“I don’t dwell on it but yes there is some disappointment every time we have a selection and this one is no different,” said Batch.


“We have got a very good squad with a lot of depth and we’ve used that throughout the Pro League, so in this instance we have picked a team to win the Oceania Cup.”


But while there are always players who miss out, Batch agrees a large element of the Kookaburras’ achievements have been built around a unified team first mentality.


“I actually reminded the players about that point yesterday…that one of the fundamentals of the success we have enjoyed over the last three years is that it has been a united front and those players not selected have always been very supportive of those that have,” said Batch. 


“So while understanding there will always be some individual disappointments, there is certainly the perspective among the whole group of having the bigger picture in mind.”


The Kookaburras have been gradually building towards what Batch categorically states as the team’s most important matches of the year, and he is confident they will be as best prepared as they can be for the opening match on Thursday week (5 September).


“We’ve had steady progress but we’re not where we want to be yet,” said Batch.


“We realise the tournament doesn’t start for another week but we had the week long training camp in Japan and I see this week as a very important preparation week for us.


“Then we head to Rockhampton on Sunday. The excitement will build even more once we get away, but this week of training is really important that we get it right.”


For more information on the Oceania Cup visit http://hockey.org.au/OC19

 

The 2019 Oceania Cup is owned and delivered by the Oceania Hockey Federation in conjunction with the Rockhampton Hockey Association.


Kookaburras squad - Oceania Cup 2019

 

Name

Date of Birth

Hometown, State

Caps (Goals)

Jacob ANDERSON

22/03/1997

Mackay, QLD

16 (8)

Daniel BEALE

12/02/1993

Brisbane, QLD

168 (28)

Tim BRAND

29/11/1998

Chatswood, NSW

31 (13)

Andrew CHARTER (gk)

30/03/1987

Canberra, ACT

175 (0)

Tom CRAIG

3/09/1995

Lane Cove, NSW

94 (26)

Matthew DAWSON

7/04/1994

Killarney Vale, NSW

129 (12)

Blake GOVERS

6/07/1996

Wollongong, NSW

94 (79)

Jake HARVIE

5/03/1998

Dardanup, WA

61 (3)

Jeremy HAYWARD

3/03/1993

Darwin, NT

146 (62)

Tim HOWARD

23/06/1996

Wakerley, QLD

51 (1)

Tyler LOVELL (gk)

23/05/1987

Perth, WA

140 (0)

Eddie OCKENDEN

3/04/1987

Hobart, TAS

355 (70)

Flynn OGILVIE

17/09/1993

Wollongong, NSW

100 (20)

Matthew SWANN

16/05/1989

Mackay, QLD

195 (7)

Corey WEYER

28/03/1996

Biggera Waters, QLD

35 (3)

Jake WHETTON

16/06/1991

Brisbane, QLD

194 (64)

Tom WICKHAM

26/05/1990

Morgan, SA

45 (19)

Aran ZALEWSKI

21/03/1991

Margaret River, WA

180 (23)

 


Oceania Cup 

Oceania Cup 2019 (doubles as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics)

5-8 September 2019

Kalka Shades Hockey Fields, Rockhampton, Queensland


Thursday 5 September 2019

Kookaburras v New Zealand (4:00pm AEST)

Hockeyroos v New Zealand (6:00pm AEST)


Saturday 7 September 2019

Hockeyroos v New Zealand (4:00pm AEST)

Kookaburras v New Zealand (6:00pm AEST)


Sunday 8 September 2019

Hockeyroos v New Zealand (4:00pm AEST)

Kookaburras v New Zealand (6:15pm AEST)