The 2006 Australian men’s squad has been announced with exiled midfielder Troy Elder welcomed back into the side and two new faces given their first opportunities.
The major goal for the Kookaburras in 2006 is the BDO Hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, in September. The team for the World Cup will be selected from the National Squad with lead up tournaments in Malaysia (Sultan Azlan Shah) and Spain (Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy).
"The prime focus of the senior squad selection is towards the 2006 World Cup. The Azlan Shah and Champions Trophy tournaments will be used as part of a final development and selection process in a campaign that started back in May last year," said national coach, Barry Dancer.
"We're looking for Troy to play a role in our World Cup campaign. The next two tournaments we are looking for Troy to re-establish himself in the side for World Cup selection."
Tasmania's Eddie Ockenden and Victorian Russell Ford have both been added to the National Squad after showing good form during this year's AHL.
At 19 years of age, Ockenden was selected after a very good Junior World Cup campaign last year as well as some good AHL form this year; while Ford, 22, has also impressed during the AHL season.
"Both players have a great deal of potential. We've included them in the squad with no great short term expectation. Longer term we believe they can make a good contribution to Australia. Azlan Shah will be the first chance to expose them to this level of hockey."
"They are both very versatile and can play as strikers or in the midfield and we'll be looking at them in these positions at the Azlan Shah Tournament."
Timing will be the key for Dancer and his coaches as they prepare the players to be at their peak for September this year when they attempt to win the only trophy that this group of players is yet to hold - the World Cup.
Part of that timing involves managing several members of the team to ensure they're firing during the World Cup campaign. Jamie Dwyer, Stephen Mowlam, Bevan George, Dean Butler and Michael McCann have all been rested from the Azlan Shah Tournament, giving Dancer the opportunity to look at other members of the squad.
"We're very comfortable with where those five players are. We're taking this as a development opportunity for the other members of the squad, while still looking to be successful at the tournament."
The Kookaburras will look to defend their Azlan Shah trophy in Kuala Lumpur from 18-25 June, where they will play. They will then attempt to defend their Champions Trophy title in Terrassa, Spain from 22-30 July and go for World Cup glory in Monchengladbach, Germany from 6-17 September.
The National Development Squad was also named after the AHL today with those in the squad targeted for future national selection. The Development Squad will travel to Malaysia and Korea on an AIS tour that will see them play 8-10 matches against those countries' national squads.
2006 National Squad
Michael Boyce (WA), Travis Brooks (VIC), Dean Butler (QLD), Liam De Young (QLD), Luke Doerner (VIC), Jamie Dwyer (QLD), Nathan Eglington (QLD), Troy Elder (QLD), Russell Ford (VIC), Bevan George (WA), David Guest (TAS), Rob Hammond (QLD), Aaron Hopkins (WA), Mark Knowles (QLD), Stephen Lambert (QLD), Brent Livermore (NSW), Michael McCann (NSW), Daniel McPherson (NSW), Stephen Mowlam (VIC), Matt Naylor (NSW), Eddie Ockenden (TAS), Grant Schubert (SA), Matthew Wells (TAS)
National Development Squad
Des Abbott (NT), Geoff Boyce (WA), Keil Brown (QLD), Nathan Burgers (ACT), Chris Cirello (VIC), Tom Cleghorn (SA), Josh Hawes (ACT), Daniel Hotchkis (ACT), Fergus Kavanagh (WA), Eli Matheson (NSW), Mark Paterson (NSW), Greg Reece (TAS), Ian Smyth (VIC), Glen Turner (ACT), Jason Vuletich (WA)
2005 Hockey Australia Award Winners
Hockey Australia 2005 Men's Player of the Year
Hockey Australia 2005 Men's Leading Goal Scorer
Hockey Australia 2005 Men's Under 21 Player of the Year
Posted 11 hours ago.
The FIH will announce the 2012 FIH Women’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year as part of the...
Posted 14 hours ago.
It was clear that the final day of Group B action at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final would be a dog fight...
Posted 17 hours ago.
Belgium needed just one point from today’s game against Spain to earn first place in Group A at the Rabobank Hockey...
Posted 20 hours ago.
England Hockey is today announcing that modifications have been made to the competition pitch for the Investec Hockey...
Posted 23 hours ago.
Following a late decision England’s two fixtures against Germany in Mannheim this weekend were played as official...
Posted 2 days ago.
Korea staged a monumental comeback, scoring four unanswered goals to earn a 4-3 win against Japan. The come-from...