At the completion of the Fast 'n' Furious AHL the 2007 Men's National Squad and Kookaburras Azlan Shah team were announced.
After a very strong AHL season Andrew Smith has been welcomed back into the squad, while Josh Hawes' recent strong performances on the AIS tour and against the Dutch have also earnt him another National Squad position.
Perhaps the most exciting announcement though is that of Northern Territory Stingers' silky skilled midfielder/striker Des Abbott. Abbott made his Kookaburras' debut against the Dutch earlier in the year, his strong performances earning him a call up from the Development Squad.
'Des Abbott has had a very good summer this year, without suffering from the injuries that he's had in previous years,' said national coach, Barry Dancer.
'He looked comfortable in the matches against the Dutch and then backed it up against
Andrew Smith has worked his way back into the Kookaburras' outfit after sitting out most of 2006 through injury. With 65 international caps and 29 goals to his name the Victoria Vikings captain is bigger and stronger than ever and will be looking to take his good form into the upcoming Azlan Shah Tournament in
'Andrew Smith has played a very influential role for
Similarly, Josh Hawes has also worked his way back into the National Squad after some strong performances recently.
'Josh Hawes has performed solidly on the AIS Tour as well as the Dutch series and has also performed well at this year's AHL so he earns his spot in the squad. He provides some great experience at full-back and also left half.'
For the Kookaburras 2007 is an important time in the lead up to
'The first two tournaments we'll be using to expose all 26 players, the 24 National Squad members as well as Kiel Brown and Fergus Kavanagh, to international competition.'
'This next period up until September is about achieving Olympic qualification, number one. We'll do this in these first three events, the Azlan Shah Trophy in
The Olympic qualifiers, in September, will be the first step for the Kookaburras in their goal of winning back-to-back Olympic gold in
2007 National Squad
Desmond ABBOTT (NT), Travis BROOKS (VIC), Nathan BURGERS (ACT), Dean BUTLER (QLD), Liam DE YOUNG (QLD), Luke DOERNER (VIC), Jamie DWYER (QLD), Nathan EGLINGTON (QLD), Russell FORD (VIC), Bevan GEORGE (WA), David GUEST (TAS), Rob HAMMOND (QLD), Josh HAWES (ACT), Aaron HOPKINS (WA), Mark KNOWLES (QLD), Stephen LAMBERT (QLD), Brent LIVERMORE (NSW), Michael McCANN (NSW), Daniel McPHERSON (NSW), Matt NAYLOR (NSW), Eddie OCKENDEN (TAS), Grant SCHUBERT (SA), Andrew SMITH (VIC), Matthew WELLS (TAS)
Kookaburras Azlan Shah Team
Desmond ABBOTT (NT), Kiel BROWN (WA), Liam DE YOUNG (QLD), Nathan EGLINGTON (QLD), Russell FORD (VIC), Bevan GEORGE (WA), David GUEST (TAS), Rob HAMMOND (QLD), Josh HAWES (ACT), Fergus KAVANAGH (WA), Stephen LAMBERT (QLD), Brent LIVERMORE (NSW), Daniel McPHERSON (NSW), Matt NAYLOR (NSW), Eddie OCKENDEN (TAS), Grant SCHUBERT (SA), Andrew SMITH (VIC), Matthew WELLS (TAS)
Source: Hockey Australia
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