The Hockeyroos are set to play their first game on home soil for 2011 when the face world number 1 team Argentina in a series of matches in Canberra and Sydney in early April.
With the Hockeyroos also travelling to South America to face Argentina, Germany and USA in February, the two teams will know each other well by this series.
An Australia A side will also travel with the Hockeyroos for the Canberra leg of the series to face Argentina, exposing even more players in the Australian hockey program to quality opposition in order to fast track a number of young players ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.
This series will see the Hockeyroos play in Canberra for the first time since 2005 and in Sydney for the first time since 2009.
The Hockeyroos will have a point to prove to both local crowds, with their last matches in both cities finals of the Champions Trophy in which they lost in penalty strokes on both occasions.
19 year old Hockeyoos defender and Canberra native Anna Flanagan said she is looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd for the first time.
“I have been in the squad for almost a year but this will obviously be the first time I will get to play for the Hockeyroos in front of my home crowd in Canberra. I’m obviously excited that I will get to play in front of my family and friends but more excited about the fact that Australia will be playing in Canberra for the first time in over five years,” said Flanagan.
Hockey ACT Chief Executive Terry Evans said he was looking forward to having both Flanagan and ACT native Nicole Arrold play in front of their home crowds.
“Hockey ACT is very excited to host the Hockeyroos in Canberra for the first time since 2005. We are proud to be a part of the new era of Women’s hockey in Australia with both a new coach and a young and talented squad. This test series will be a great opportunity for local talents Nicole Arrold and Anna Flanagan to play in front of their home crowd.”
Hockeyroos midfielder and 2009 World Young Player of the Year Casey Eastham said she was looking forward to returning to Sydney for the first time since the 2009 Champions Trophy final against Argentina.
“The 2009 Champions Trophy was a great experience for the team. Playing in front of a vocal home crowd each day in Sydney was fantastic but obviously we were disappointed with the final loss against Argentina, especially because it went down to penalty strokes. We are looking to get a different result this time around,” said Eastham.
Hockey NSW Chief Executive Paul Bruce said he was looking forward to NSW hosting more international hockey.
“Hockey NSW is thrilled to be hosting the current World Champions from Argentina and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists, the Hockeyroos in April. We expect there to be strong NSW representation in the team that competes here in April and we urge hockey players and sports-lovers from across the State to join us on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th April when the women play two matches here in Sydney,” said Bruce.
Hockeyroos v Argentina Series
Saturday 2 April
Tuesday 5 April
Friday 8 April
Saturday 9 April
Source: Hockey Australia media release
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