Courtesy of Hockey Australia
Hockey Australia announced the 27-member 2019 National Senior Men’s Squad as the team builds towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The world number one Kookaburras will compete in the inaugural FIH Pro League from January to June next year, followed by the Oceania Cup which is the qualification event for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Selection Panel considered a number of priorities upon selecting the squad, with a long-term view to medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics along with achieving performance benchmarks in 2019 at the Pro League and Olympic qualification.
The Selection Panel also looked to reward impressive performances within the daily training environment and national/international matches throughout 2018.
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said: “Our 2019 squad selection is formed with a longer view to what our squad needs to look like in 2020.
“This is the rationale behind all of our decisions, so we’ve added three new players.”
Mackay’s Jacob Anderson, Wollongong’s Jack Hayes and Hobart’s Jack Welch are the three new additions to the National Senior Men’s Squad.
Forward pair Anderson, 21, and Welch, 21, both debuted for the Kookaburras in September’s Darwin International Hockey Open and were involved in Australia’s pre-World Cup training camp. Both also scored in their second match, a 5-2 win over Malaysia.
Midfielder Hayes, 24, is elevated from the National Development Squad, having scored six goals for 2018 Australian Hockey League runners-up New South Wales. He’s also the cousin of ex-Hockeyroo Casey Sablowski and competed for Australia at the 2018 Indoor World Cup in Berlin.
“Jacob Anderson is a good striker who can play midfield,” Batch said. “He’s come up through the junior ranks in Queensland.
“We gave him some opportunities in VAAs (Visiting Athlete Agreement) this year and in the Australia A-Malaysia series. He made his debut for the Kookaburras in Darwin in September and is a good player for the future.
“Jack Welch has had a very similar build-up to Jacob. He’s spent time with our group in VAAs and also debuted for the Kookaburras in Darwin.
Kieran Govers announced his retirement earlier in the week, while 26-year-old Tasmanian defender Jeremy Edwards has been omitted.
After the Odisha #HWC2018 Bhubaneswar, The Kookaburras will return to Perth, where the squad will reconvene for training on Monday 14 January after a break, ahead of the Pro League which starts for Australia against the Netherlands on Saturday 2 February in Melbourne on Fox Sports.
2019 Australian Senior Men's Squad:
For further information and a full playing schedule for the inaugural FIH Pro League, click here.