The Australian men’s team will continue its building process following the 2008 Beijing Olympics when the Kookaburras take on Europe’s finest nations from 26 May – 12 June.
Competing in the Hamburg Masters (held in Germany) against the Netherlands, England and Germany, the Kookaburras will also make the most of their time in Europe by playing separate matches against France, Germany and England.
Having recently announced the 2009 Kookaburras squad, four non-squad members, Glenn Turner, Graeme Begbie, George Bazeley and Jason Wilson, will also tour with the Kookaburras.
While these four are not currently part of the official squad, their performances throughout this tour are critical with coach Ric Charlesworth recently indicating his desire to increase the national squad to more than 30 players.
”In the past the squads are usually 24 players, but we need to build a new group so I would like to expose as many players as possible to the national team,” said Charlesworth.
While this European tour squad has some experienced players thanks to the likes of veterans Jamie Dwyer and Liam De Young, half the squad have played less than 10 international games, allowing Charlesworth to experiment with the squad.
“I have said from the start that my first six months as coach would be about discovery, and playing with this many young players will give me a good chance to see how they handle themselves at international level,” said Charlesworth.
Coming up against the likes of Beijing gold medalists Germany and old rivals the Netherlands, whom the Kookaburras defeated in a 4 test series in Perth earlier this year, the Kookaburras can expect some difficult competition during this tour.
With England, Germany and the Netherlands all competing at the 2009 Men’s Champions Trophy event, this tour will give the Kookaburras an excellent opportunity to assess their opposition before the major tournament, held in Melbourne from 28 November – 6 December.
Team Australia: Jamie Dwyer, Liam De Young, Simon Orchard, Glenn Turner, Chris Ciriello, Jason Wilson, Mark Knowles, Russell Ford, Eddie Ockenden, Luke Doerner, Joel Carroll, Ian Burcher, Glenn Simpson, Mark Paterson, Brent Livermore, George Bazeley, Graeme Begbie, Ross Meadows, Fergus Kavanagh, Des Abbott.
France - Australia
Tuesday 26 May 2009 19:00, Montrouge
Wednesday 27 May 2009 19:00 Versailles
Germany - Australia
Sunday 31 May 2009 16:00, Hamburg
Tuesday 2 June 2009,Hamburg
Thursday 4 – Sunday 7 June 2009
Participants: Australia, England, Germany, Netherlands
England – Australia
Wednesday 10 June 2009 19:30, Nottingham
Friday 12 June 2009 19:30, Nottingham
Source: Hockey Australia
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