The Argentinean Hockey Confederation has announced a 19-player squad that will represent Argentina in the upcoming tour of New Zealand and Australia, including star player Luciana Aymar.
The tour marks the start of a new phase in the preparation for the Olympic Games in London later this year, and the squad includes some new faces: María José Fernández replaces penalty corner specialist Noel Barrionuevo who is recovering from an injury to her left knee sustained in a recent club match.
In addition to Julieta Franco coming in as a new addition to the Leonas, veteran Mercedes "Mechi" Margalot re-joins the team. 36-year-old Margalot, a stalwart defender, previously debuted on the Leonas at the 1999 Panamerican Games, and went on - amongst many other successes - to win gold medals in the 2002 World Cup, 2 Champions Trophy, and 3 Panamerican Games, as well as a silver and two bronze medals in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Hockey Tournaments. Since being dropped from the team after the Beijing Olympic Games, Margalot has not played for Argentina, making her return to the squad at this stage quite remarkable.
Argentina is travelling to New Zealand on Friday and will be playing the Black Sticks in their country four times, on 12, 14, 16 and 17 March. In the second stage of the tour, the Leonas will face the Hockeyroos in Australia on 19, 21 and 22 March.
Argentina Squad for New Zealand and Australia Tour:
Laura Del Colle
María José Fernández
Rocío Sánchez Moccia
Source: Argentina Hockey Confederation press release
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