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Men's and women's national hockey teams announced

22 December 2016

HOCKEY: Hockey Australia has today announced the men’s and women’s hockey squads that will form the core group of Australian hockey players that are working towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

In the men’s team, of the 23 selected, nine are returning squad members who competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games team, including Kookaburras veterans captain and four-time Olympian Mark Knowles, triple Olympian Eddie Ockenden and dual Olympian Matthew Swann.

The new look squad has been formed following on from the men’ sixth place finish at Rio as newly appointed head coach Colin Batch and High Performance Director Toni Cumpston look to rebuild the squad heading towards the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The recent tours in New Zealand for the trans-Tasman Trophy, and at the International Festival of Hockey in Victoria also gave up-and-coming players the opportunity to prove their abilities, with three athletes - Aaron Kleinschmidt (age 26), Casey Hammond (22) and Ben Craig (23) - selected to the national squad based on their performances at these events.

Along with Hammond, two other athletes have been elevated to the senior national squad from the national development squad; Tasmanian Jeremy Edwards who has proven himself throughout the course of 2016 as he trained with the senior squad, and Kiran Arunasalam (21) of Victoria, who showed his ability at the recent Junior World Cup in Lucknow, India.

Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said: “We’ve taken a long-term view with this selection, and it’s based upon building the team through the next four-year cycle so that we are successful at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I want to stress that we know it’s a hard line that has been taken with the 2017 squad selection, and some of the athletes who have missed out still have potential and may get called upon in the short term.

“However, we have gone with a squad who we think are talented individuals, and who will benefit from the development opportunities they can be given in the training environment with the national squad as we look to triumph in Tokyo.”

Of the 23 chosen for the women’s squad, twelve of the athletes played at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, who finished in sixth place, including dual Olympian Emily Smith and goalkeeper Rachael Lynch; with Jordyn Holzberger, Kaitlin Nobbs, Madi Ratcliffe and Jocelyn Bartram moving up to the national senior squad from the national development squad.

Kaitlin Nobbs’ elevation to the senior squad comes after an outstanding performance at the recent Junior World Cup in Santiago, where Australia came away with the bronze medal; while Jordyn Holzberger impressed at the trans-Tasman Trophy and International Festival of Hockey.

"The 2017 squad has been chosen as we look to develop the team that we believe will give us the best possible chance of success in Tokyo 2020," said incoming head coach Paul Gaudoin.

“With some of our senior Hockeyroos taking time away from the sport, it has given us the chance to call some of our development team up to the national squad and give them the opportunity to further their development as a part of the centralised training program in Perth and perform within the squad.

“It’s an exciting time for the squad, as it always is at the beginning of a new Olympic cycle, and we’ll be looking at doing things a little differently so that we become a more flexible, versatile and unpredictable team.”

Noticeably absent from the squad are veterans Casey Sablowski and Jodie Kenny who announced post-Rio that they would be having a break from the sport, along with Anna Flanagan who announced in November that she would take some time away from hockey. Hockey Australia will continue to support these athletes during their time away from the sport.

Both squads will reconvene in Perth in March to begin training at the Perth Hockey Stadium where they will work towards the major tournments of the season, including the World League and Oceania Cups.

The full coaching teams will be announced in the new year once interviews have taken place for the assistant coach position.

2017 Men’s Hockey Squad
Kiran Arunasalam (Doncaster East, VIC)
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Joshua Beltz (Hobart, TAS)
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT)
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Ben Craig (Lane Cove, NSW)
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW)
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS)
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Casey Hammond (Bundoora, VIC)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Aaron Kleinschmidt (Melbourne, VIC)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Edward Ockenden (Hobart, TAS)
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW)
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC)
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD)
Jacob Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW)
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *plays for QLD
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)

2017 Women’s Hockey Squad
Laura Barden (Kew, VIC)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *plays for ACT
Jane-Anne Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *plays for QLD
Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, QLD)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) *plays for SA
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Madi Ratcliffe (Warrnambool, VIC)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells Morwell, VIC)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)

Hockey Australia

 

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