Coach Commens says Australian women confident against world’s best
The Hockeyroos squad for the forthcoming World League Finals in Argentina has been announced by Hockey Australia.
Head Coach Adam Commens has named his 18-athlete squad for the showpiece tournament of the year, which features the world’s top eight women’s teams. There are two changes to the side that reclaimed the Oceania Cup ten days ago. Re-joining the Hockeyroos having missed out on the tournament in New Zealand are Teneal Attard (QLD) and Karri McMahon (SA). Jordyn Holzberger and Mathilda Carmichael are the two athletes to miss out.
Vastly experienced double Olympian Attard hasn’t played for Australia since helping the Hockeyroos to clinch a 2014 World Cup spot and overcome England to win gold at the World League Semi-Final tournament in London in June. She returns after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in Queensland’s opening match at the Australian Hockey League in September.
The majority of the squad that picked up gold in London will make the trip to Tucumán; Kate Jenner (NSW), Brooke Peris (NT) and Ashlee Wells (VIC) are the three athletes for whom the World League Finals will provide a first taste of international hockey’s newest competition.
Speaking as the team was announced, Head Coach Adam Commens said, “I’m pleased that we welcome back Teneal Attard and Karri McMahon. Teneal hasn’t played a lot of hockey since her injury but she is one of our most experienced midfielders and had a great World League tournament in London. Karri has just completed an intensive physical training block to get her in the position to perform in the heat of Tucumán. She was a key player in our defence at the World League Semi-Final and has had a heavy year having also played at the Junior World Cup. We’ve been carefully managing her load to ensure she is ready for this tournament.”
The World League Finals will pitch the Hockeyroos against World Champions and hosts Argentina, Oceania Cup rivals and world number three New Zealand, and Beijing Olympic silver medallists China in Pool B. Pool A contains Olympic Champions the Netherlands, European gold and silver medallists Germany and England, and Korea. All eight teams qualified for the Finals, which runs from 30 November until 8 December, via one of two Semi-Final tournaments earlier in the year.
Since the start of 2013 the Hockeyroos have recorded victories over Argentina, Germany, England, New Zealand, China and Korea, and Commens believes his side is one of the form teams in world hockey.
Speaking about his hopes for the tournament, Commens said, “The World League Finals represent an important opportunity for us to climb the world rankings. There are a lot of points on offer and, by its very nature, we’re competing against the best teams - those sides around us in the rankings.
“We’ve demonstrated in the last six months that ours is a team on the up and when we play our best hockey we’re competitive with the very best nations. Our first objective is to reach the semi-finals and I believe that if we can do that we are well placed to push on from there and reach the final. Our results against the other top teams this year have been good and give us confidence. As a team we’ve been consistently progressing and when you’ve won the World League Semi-Final, as we did, you can rightly say you’re one of the top nations in the world.”
Australia will also be represented by three members of the officiating team in Argentina. South Australian Rosie Stern has been appointed as Tournament Director, overseeing the competition in its entirety, while Minka Woolley from Tasmania is one of two Umpires Managers at the event. She, along with a Dutch colleague, will oversee and assist 11 umpires including Lisa Roach from New South Wales.
The Hockeyroos squad departs for the World League Finals on 20 November.
To see the match schedule for this event, please click here.
Hockeyroos squad for World League Finals
Tucumán, Argentina, 30 November – 8 December 2013
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD)
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD)
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW)
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT)
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW)
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Claire Messent (Melbourne, VIC)
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA)
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Ashlee Wells (Moe, VIC)
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW)
Source: Hockey Australia media release