Charlesworth forced to overlook Dwyer

23 December 2013

HOCKEY: No Jamie Dwyer, no problem. That was Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth's attitude after being forced to overlook the five-time World Player of the Year for their upcoming inaugural World League men's hockey finals campaign in India.

Dwyer on Monday was among a host of big names missing from Charlesworth's 18-strong squad for next month's Delhi tournament to avoid burnout ahead of a huge 2014 that will also feature the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy.

Apart from Dwyer, 2011 World Young Player of the Year Matthew Swann, Athens gold medallist Rob Hammond and double Olympic bronze medal winner Fergus Kavanagh were omitted.

However, Charlesworth still backed world No.2 Australia to emerge triumphant in the January 10-18 event after welcoming back 2004 gold medallist Mark Knowles (ankle) and London Olympian Kieran Govers (hamstring) from injury.

Charlesworth said another consideration before omitting his big names was their involvement in the elite Hockey India League (HIL) which begins immediately after the World League (WL).

In all, 24 Kookaburras players will strut their stuff in the HIL.

"I believe that this team can win it (WL), although we are missing several players for a range of reasons," Charlesworth said.

"There's a load issue with some of the senior guys in particular, who, if selected, would then have eight weeks in India.

"The World League Finals will give us an opportunity to look at some of those less experienced players."

Among those are Daniel Beale, Tristan White, Tyler Lovell and Aran Zalewski.

Beale returns to Delhi where he recently captained the Australian under-21 team the Burras at the Junior World Cup.

The World League finals features the world's top eight teams.

The Kookaburras are in pool B with world No.5 Belgium, Olympic silver medallists the Netherlands and No.11 Argentina.

Their campaign starts against Belgium on January 10.

Pool A features hosts India, Olympic champions Germany, England and New Zealand.

The Hockeyroos made the recent women's WL finals tournament decider recently in Argentina, losing 5-1 against Olympic champs the Netherlands.

Kookaburras squad: George Bazeley (gk, Vic), Daniel Beale (Qld), Kiel Brown (Qld), Joel Carroll (NT), Chris Ciriello (Vic), Liam De Young (Qld), Tim Deavin (Tas), Russell Ford (Vic), Kieran Govers (NSW), Mark Knowles (Qld), Tyler Lovell (gk, WA), Eddie Ockenden (Tas), Simon Orchard (NSW), Glenn Turner (NSW), Jake Whetton (Qld), Tristan White (NSW), Jason Wilson (Qld), Aran Zalewski (WA).

Laine Clark
AAP

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