The Australian women’s team will play its first international tournament since the 2008 Beijing Olympics when the Hockeyroos compete in the Spar Cup, a 4 nations invitational tournament to be played in Durban, South Africa from 2-6 June.
The tournament will see the Hockeyroos go head to head against Argentina, South Africa, and India, while they will also play separate matches against South Africa and India in the lead up to the tournament.
Following the retirements of veterans Nikki Hudson, Angie Lambert, Melanie Wells and a host of others, this tournament provides the Hockeyroos with a great opportunity to begin their new Olympic cycle on a positive note.
While victory will obviously be the priority for the team, coach Frank Murray said this series will be about team and individual development, with six players (Alison Bruce, Emily Hurtz, Stacia Joseph, Heather Langham, Georgia Nanscawen and Danielle Schubach) making their international debuts.
“Obviously we will enter every game looking to win, but overall as our first series since Beijing, this tournament will give me a chance to assess how the players handle the pressure against quality opposition. Furthermore, it gives the players a chance to work together and begin the process of coming together as a team,” said Murray.
Participation in Durban will provide the Hockeyroos with invaluable competition as they prepare for the Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy - Women 2009 Sydney tournament from 11-19 July.
Averaging 49 games per player (compared to 135 games for the 2008 Olympic squad), playing against the likes of Argentina in particular (ranked 2nd in the world) who are also competing at the Champions Trophy will be beneficial for the entire squad.
Of all the debutants, the inclusion of Nanscawen is the most noteworthy, who at the age of 16 will become one of the youngest ever Hockeyroos.
Still in shock about her national squad selection, Nanscawen said to make her international debut at such a young age was unexpected considering 12 months ago she was playing Under 15s.
“I thought it was going to be at least a couple of years away before I would be in consideration for the national squad. I thought I may have been a chance for the development or junior squad but it has just come so quickly,” said Nanscawen.
The Hockeyroos will be looking to the experience of players such as Nicole Arrold and Kim Walker and emerging stars Kobie McGurk, Casey Eastham, Hope Munro and co-captain Madonna Blyth to inspire the new crop of players in a squad.
Team Australia: Georgia Nanscawen, Sarah O’Connor, Casey Eastham, Alison Bruce, Megan Rivers, Kim Walker, Kate Hollywood, Madonna Blyth, Nicole Arrold, Kobie McGurk, Fiona Johnson, Emily Hurtz, Stacia Joseph, Heather Langham, Danielle Schubach, De Anne Gilbert, Rachel Lynch, Hope Munro.
Source: Hockey Australia
Posted 21 hours ago.
USA: Family heirlooms traditionally consist of faded pictures, foreign coins and vintage rings, treasured items with...
Posted 22 hours ago.
Since its foundation in 1969, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) has always valued its players with Best Player,...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men battled hard but were defeated 2-1 by Korea in the sixth and final test of the series in a wet...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Hockeyroos will welcome back a number of familiar faces as they head to Europe for next month’s Investec Hockey...
Posted 3 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men have lost 1-0 against Korea at Papatoetoe Sports Centre tonight in a game full of speed and...
Posted 3 days ago.
I heard on the news yesterday that Africa has seven of the fastest growing economies in the world. Africa is reputed...