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Three to debut for Australian women's hockey team in Perth

4 September 2015

HOCKEY: Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens will hand senior international debuts to three young athletes in this weekend’s test series against Korea in Perth with a number of more experienced players missing out.

Following the national women’s training camp, a final Hockeyroos squad of 23 athletes has been named for the series, including newcomers Laura Barden (VIC), Madison Fitzpatrick (QLD) and Stephanie Kershaw (QLD). 

Speaking about the newer faces in the squad, Commens said, “Stephanie Kershaw, Laura Barden and Madison Fitzpatrick have all impressed with their performances recently. Steph Kershaw has been outstanding over the past six weeks and has performed in a way that has our group excited about the talent and power she can bring to the front line.

“Laura Barden has progressed well over the last 18 months. Her work rate and her ability to get outcomes in our attacking third have been noticeable in her performances in the training games against Korea over the past week.

“Madison Fitzpatrick has been earmarked as a high level player for a couple of years now. While she’s an exciting prospect with plenty of potential, and it’s great to see her beginning to realise some of that potential, she’ll need to continue to work hard to force her way into our top team.”

The international matches will offer valuable development opportunities for other young members of the squad, including Savannah Fitzpatrick, Kate Hanna and Renee Taylor who return to the side after making their debuts in Sydney in April.

Commens added, “The camp has been fantastic. It has allowed us to have a good look at all our players, not only the national squad but the development players too. The selection reflects that with three players set to debut.

“We’ve selected a side that feel is capable of winning the tests and that will be our intention. It’s really important that we see how some of the less experienced players perform against a top international team and put themselves in the frame. 

“Some of our more established players have not been selected; Georgia Nanscawen, Brooke Peris and Georgie Parker are the most notable.

“To achieve our goal of winning an Olympic gold medal our more experienced players need to add value and play at a higher level.

“On the one hand, it’s fantastic to have younger players stepping up but to be successful we need our older players to step up too. The selectors felt that these three in particular haven’t progressed as expected and need to bring more with their performances if they are to add value to our gold medal bid.”

The matches will offer the Hockeyroos an opportunity to fine-tune the women’s national senior program ahead of the Oceania Cup in New Zealand in October, World League Final in Argentina in December and the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Captain Madonna Blyth, Casey Sablowski and Kellie White will sit out the upcoming matches while they recover from injury.

Hockeyroos v Korea Fixtures, 5-8 September 2015
Saturday 5 September: Hockeyroos v Korea – 14:15pm AWST
Sunday 6 September: Hockeyroos v Korea – 14:15pm AWST
Tuesday 8 September: Hockeyroos v Korea – 17:00pm AWST

Hockeyroos Squad 

Athlete (Hometown, State)
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD)
Laura Barden (Kew, VIC)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW^)
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW^)
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT)
Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW*)
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)   

NOTE: The above athletes have come through the academies and institutes of sport in their home states and territories with the exception of the following:

^Madison and Savannah Fitzpatrick are scholarship holders at the Queensland Academy of Sport

*Gabrielle Nance is a graduate scholar of the South Australia Sports Institute


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