Hockeyroos squad announced

Hockeyroos squad announced

"Strongest" line up for Hawke's Bay Cup, youngsters in for China test Thursday

Author: Lawrence West/Tuesday, 22 March 2016/Categories: Hockey Australia NewsHockeyroosEvents

As he hones in on his Rio 2016 Olympic Games team, Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens has named what he believes is the Hockeyroos’ strongest squad for the Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand next month. 

In contrast, a one-off Test against China in Perth on Thursday has also provided Commens with the chance to blood new, young talent in preparation for the future, post-Rio.

Commens and the selectors have named an experienced group for the trip to New Zealand for the annual Hawke’s Bay Cup invitational event. 12 experienced campaigners will return to the side for the trip across the ditch following the China clash, including captain Madonna Blyth, dual Olympian Casey Sablowski, and defensive trio Anna Flanagan, Karri McMahon (pictured above) and Jodie Kenny. 

Commens said, “We perceive this side to be our strongest group of 18, although there are a number of players that have missed out who are still well in contention for the Olympic Games. 

“It’s always great to be playing against high level opponents when they’re in the same phase of preparation as we are for an event like the Olympic Games. It gives us a good idea of where we’re at, and in a tournament scenario like the Hawke’s Bay Cup there’s an added pressure to get results, which forms an important element of our preparation.”

Australia will field a unfamiliar looking side for the one-off clash with China this week with goalkeepers Audrey Smith and Jocelyn Bartram replacing regulars Rachael Lynch and Ashlee Wells. It will represent a senior international debut for Bartram (pictured right at AHL) and also for Jacqui Day (below left), who has been part of the Australian women’s development squad for the past 18 months.

Commens added, “The game against China was a late inclusion in our program and gives us the chance to provide opportunities to players just outside our senior group, and a few of those in with a chance of selection for Rio.

“Jacqui Day has been in our development squad since coming out of our junior program and has continued to improve. We see her as a player for the future who deserves her opportunity. She’s a physical athlete with good speed and strength, and someone who was in good form last year at the AHL and domestically in the league in Perth, where she won the Ric Charlesworth Medal as the league’s best player.

“Jocelyn Bartram joined the centralised program this year and has progressed well in training, making steady improvements.”

Sisters Savannah and Madison Fitzpatrick will also feature against China, along with 18 year-old Madi Ratcliffe, who made her debut against Great Britain last month and Grace Stewart, also 18, who debuted in January. 

Experience comes in the form of Ashleigh Nelson, who will make her 200th appearance for Australia on Thursday, Georgia Nanscawen, and Kellie White, whose return from a long-term knee injury was stifled slightly last month when she missed the GB series with a minor knock. 

In Hawke’s Bay, six of the eight teams competing – Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, Japan and India – have qualified for the 2016 Olympic Games, with Canada and Ireland completing the eight team competition. The Hockeyroos have been drawn in Pool A against Japan, Korea and Canada. 

Eddie Bone should make her 100th appearance for the Hockeyroos in the teams’ second pool match, against Korea, on 3 April.

The Hawke’s Bay Cup has quickly established itself as an annual fixture in the Hockeyroos’ calendar with Australia’s women having enjoyed success in recent years, winning the event with victory over New Zealand in 2015 and finishing as runners-up to Argentina in 2014. 

Visit the official website of the Hawke's Bay Cup.

Hockeyroos’ squad v China, Test match
24 March 2016, Perth, WA

Laura Barden (Kew, VIC)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Jacqui Day (Mountain Crrek, QLD)
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) [QAS]
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) [QAS]
Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) [SASI]
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA)
Madi Ratcliffe (Warrnambool, VIC)
Audrey Smith (Wynnum, QLD)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW)

Hockeyroos’ squad for Hawke’s Bay Cup
2-10 April 2016, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) [SASI]
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA)
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Casey Sablowski (South Coast, NSW)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Ashlee Wells (Moe, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)

Hockeryroos’ Hawke’s Bay Cup fixtures
Saturday 2 April – Hockeyroos v Japan – 11am AEDT / 8am AWST
Sunday 3 April – Hockeyroos v Korea – 11am AEST / 9am AWST
Tuesday 5 April – Hockeyroos v Canada – 12pm AEST / 10am AWST
Thursday 7 April – Quarter Finals
Saturday 9 April – Semi Finals
Sunday 10 April - Finals

Hockeyroos’ Olympic preparations
Thursday 24 March – Hockeyroos v China, Test match, 9pm AEDT / 6pm AWST
2-10 April – Hawke’s Bay Cup (Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand)
31 May – 4 June – International Hockey Open (Darwin, NT)
18-26 June – FIH Women’s Champions Trophy (London, Great Britain)