Author: Ben Somerford
The Kookaburras return to FIH Pro League action after a five-week break with an ANZAC Day encounter with Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in Auckland on Thursday. The side faces Argentina next in Buenos Aires on Saturday 4 May.
The world number two Kookaburras, who are second in the men’s FIH Pro League standings, have selected an 18-member team for the matches.
Co-captain Eddie Ockenden and experienced defender Matthew Swann have been left out of the team for personal reasons, presenting opportunities for others.
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said: “We’re giving players an opportunity but also those who we think are in good form. That’s first and foremost what we’re trying to do.
“We don’t have Swann and Ockenden for this trip, two significant players. Both are out for personal reasons.
“Eddie and his partner have just had their second child so we’re leaving him at home for this trip but he continues to train and we hope he’ll return for the European leg.”
World champions Belgium have leapfrogged Australia at the summit of the men’s FIH Pro League standings since the Kookaburras last game.
Batch said the matches against New Zealand (currently eighth on the standings) and Argentina (fourth) would be tough as they aim to reclaim top spot.
“We’re going there to win,” Batch said. “It’s our first road trip. It’s good competition against them.
“We did well against New Zealand and Argentina last time in Sydney. We’ve got to duplicate that.”
The team flew out of Perth for New Zealand on Easter Sunday. The matches will be televised live by Kayo Sports and on FOX SPORTS 506.
Thursday 25 April 2019 – North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland
New Zealand v Hockeyroos – 12:30pm AEST
New Zealand v Kookaburras – 2:30pm AEST
Kookaburras 18-member team:
Athlete (Hometown, State)
Jacob Anderson (Mackay, QLD)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Joshua Beltz (Hobart, TAS)
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Jake Harvie (Dardanup, WA)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Tim Howard (Wakerley, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)
Lachlan Sharp (Lithgow, NSW)
Josh Simmonds (Melbourne, VIC)
Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)