Kookaburras Make Six Changes For Spanish Clash

Author: Ben Somerford

Hockey Australia today announces the 18-member Kookaburras team to take on Spain at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre in the FIH Pro League on Saturday.

Fresh from back-to-back wins, the world number two Kookaburras will face ninth-ranked Spain from 3pm AEDT, live on kayosports.com.au and delayed from 9pm AEDT on FOX SPORTS 505. 

The Kookaburras have made six changes from the side that defeated Great Britain 2-0 in Perth a fortnight ago.

NSW pair Blake Govers and Lachlan Sharp return for the match in their home state, while goalkeeper Tyler Lovell, Tim Howard, Jack Welch and Dylan Wotherspoon are all added.

Andrew Charter, Andrew Kleinschmidt, Flynn Ogilvie, Josh Simmonds, Tom Wickham and Corey Weyer make way.

Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said: “We wanted to give opportunities and we’ve done that in the early part of the FIH Pro League.

“Now we’re starting to narrow with players who are in-form. It’s still a mixture of form and providing opportunity to younger players who are playing well and who will benefit with every experience at this level.”

The Kookaburras last played upcoming opponents Spain in the quarter-finals of the 2017 World League Final where Australia triumphed 4-1.

Spain have started the FIH Pro League with two shootout wins against 2018 World Cup finalists Belgium and Netherlands, as well as a thrilling 6-5 defeat to Great Britain.

“They had a disappointing World Cup and they’ve rebounded from that,” Batch said.

“They’ve had some good performances at home so far and this is their first away trip.

“We need to take some of the learnings from our daily training environment in Perth across to Sydney and hopefully have a good performance.”

Tickets are still available for the Sydney matches by ticketbooth.com.au. Gates open at 2pm AWST.

The Sydney matches are made possible thanks to the support of Destination NSW.

Saturday 2 March 2019 – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Kookaburras v Spain – 3pm, Hockeyroos v USA – 5pm
*All times AWST 

Kookaburras 18-member team:
Athlete (Hometown, State)

Jacob Anderson (Mackay, QLD)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Johan Durst (Melbourne, VIC)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Lachlan Sharp (Lithgow, NSW)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Jack Welch (Hobart, TAS)
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)