The world #1 ranked Kookaburras and #2 ranked Hockeyroos will touch down in Sydney in the coming days as they prepare to launch their 2020 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League seasons.
The full Kookaburras squad (27 players) will land in Sydney late this afternoon, before a 21-player Hockeyroos squad arrives 24 hours later ahead of the opening match day double headers against Belgium on Saturday (25 January 2020) at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.
With Tokyo 2020 just over six months away, these FIH Pro League matches in Sydney are the final time the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will play on Australia’s east coast before the Olympics.
The final 18-player teams for the Belgium matches will be announced on Friday, with both Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin and Kookaburras boss Colin Batch eager and excited by the quality early tests that await.
“This year is a huge one and while the focus is ensuring we peak for Tokyo in July, it is important that we start our Pro League season in a positive way,” said Gaudoin.
“There are a few girls who are carrying some sore spots and minor injury niggles who will remain in Perth, but for the 21 players who are travelling to Sydney, it is a chance for them to put their best foot forward as we continue to work on the style and way we want to play.”
“The players have been training well and are really looking forward to playing in front of big home crowds in Sydney and starting the year on the right note.”
For the Kookaburras, who are the defending FIH Pro League Champions, they face their 2019 grand final opponents and world number two ranked Belgium in a genuine first up blockbuster.
The two teams have developed a fierce rivalry with the intriguing next chapter to unfold as they compete on back-to-back days.
“We have had a solid block of training since the players returned after the Christmas break and have been gradually building up towards taking on Belgium this weekend,” sad Batch.
“This is a great opportunity to have the full squad in Sydney, get some solid training under our belt and face two excellent opponents first up.”
“I know the players are really excited about competing in the Pro League again and we probably could not ask for a better opening to the competition than by playing in front of a parochial home crowd against the team that pushed us all the way last year.”
On the women’s side, Belgium proved a bogey side for the Hockeyroos last year as the Europeans won both of their Pro League encounters, before the Hockeyroos went on to finish runners-up to the Netherlands in a thrilling grand final of the inaugural edition of the competition.
The consecutive double headers against Belgium on 25/26 January will be followed by back-to-back double headers against Great Britain, again at Sydney Olympic Park.
Great Britain’s women’s team are the reigning Olympic gold medallists, while the men’s team is full of talent and can upset any team on their day.
In support of the current bushfire crisis, Hockey Australia is encouraging all patrons who attend the Sydney matches to make a gold coin donation upon entry with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.
Hockey Australia and its corporate partners have also pledged to donate $500 to the Red Cross for every goal the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos score against Belgium and Great Britain.
The FIH Pro League is ‘hockey at it’s best’ and the next two weekends at Sydney Olympic Park are certain to be testament of that.
Furthermore, the men’s FIH Pro League trophy, which the Kookaburras won last year, will be in Sydney this week as it undertakes a global tour to all of the competing nations.
Tickets for the matches are available now through Ticketek. Australia’s FIH Pro League matches will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports and Kayo.
For more details on the FIH Pro League, visit https://www.fihproleague.com/
Hockeyroos travelling squad – Sydney FIH Pro League matches
|Name (Number)||Date of Birth||Hometown, State||Hockey One Team||Caps (Goals)|
|Jocelyn Bartram (gk) (19)||4/05/1993||Albury, NSW||NSW Pride||48 (0)|
|Edwina Bone (13)||24/04/1988||Orange, NSW||Canberra Chill||197 (4)|
|Emily Chalker (26)||28/07/1992||Crookwell, NSW||NSW Pride||235 (82)|
|Jane Claxton (18)||26/10/1992||Adelaide, SA||Adelaide Fire||177 (18)|
|Kalindi Commerford (23)||18/11/1994||Ulladulla, ACT||Canberra Chill||45 (7)|
|Greta Hayes (12)||17/10/1996||Sydney, NSW||NSW Pride||6 (0)|
|Kate Jenner (22)||5/05/1990||Mudgee, NSW||NSW Pride||122 (1)|
|Jodie Kenny (7)||18/08/1987||Wamuran, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||229 (111)|
|Stephanie Kershaw (14)||19/04/1995||Townsville, QLD||–||59 (6)|
|Amy Lawton (4)||19/01/2002||Emerald, VIC||HC Melbourne||10 (3)|
|Rachael Lynch (gk) (27)||2/07/1986||Warrandyte, VIC||HC Melbourne||220 (0)|
|Rosie Malone (2)||8/01/1998||Burleigh, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||46 (10)|
|Karri McMahon (11)||27/02/1992||Berri, SA||Adelaide Fire||147 (10)|
|Gabi Nance (16)||29/07/1994||Adelaide, SA||Adelaide Fire||70 (7)|
|Kaitlin Nobbs (15)||24/09/1997||Newington, NSW||NSW Pride||76 (4)|
|Brooke Peris (3)||16/01/1993||Darwin, NT||Canberra Chill||167 (26)|
|Grace Stewart (30)||24/04/1997||Gerringong, NSW||NSW Pride||81 (24)|
|Renee Taylor (21)||28/09/1996||Everton Park, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||77 (8)|
|Sophie Taylor (1)||12/09/1995||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||31 (1)|
|Ashlee Wells (gk) (5)||1/08/1989||Morwell, VIC||Adelaide Fire||119 (0)|
|Georgia Wilson (8)||20/05/1996||Mahogany Creek,WA||Perth Thundersticks||33 (0)|
Kookaburras squad – Sydney FIH Pro League matches
|Name (Number)||Date of Birth||Hometown, State||Hockey One Team||Caps (Goals)|
|Jacob Anderson (9)||22/03/1997||Mackay, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||19 (8)|
|Daniel Beale (23)||12/02/1993||Brisbane, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||171 (28)|
|Josh Beltz (10)||24/04/1995||Hobart, TAS||Tassie Tigers||39 (3)|
|Tim Brand (29)||29/11/1998||Chatswood, NSW||NSW Pride||34 (15)|
|Andrew Charter (gk) (30)||30/03/1987||Canberra, ACT||Canberra Chill||177 (0)|
|Tom Craig (2)||3/09/1995||Lane Cove, NSW||NSW Pride||97 (27)|
|Matthew Dawson (6)||7/04/1994||Killarney Vale, NSW||NSW Pride||132 (12)|
|Johan Durst (gk) (8)||18/03/1991||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||3 (0)|
|Nathan Ephraums (7)||9/06/1999||Keysborough, VIC||HC Melbourne||–|
|Blake Govers (13)||6/07/1996||Wollongong, NSW||NSW Pride||97 (83)|
|Jake Harvie (4)||5/03/1998||Dardanup, WA||Perth Thundersticks||64 (3)|
|Jeremy Hayward (32)||3/03/1993||Darwin, NT||Tassie Tigers||149 (62)|
|Tim Howard (16)||23/06/1996||Wakerley, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||54 (1)|
|Tyler Lovell (gk) (24)||23/05/1987||Perth, WA||Perth Thundersticks||141 (0)|
|Kurt Lovett (18)||15/01/1997||Parkes, NSW||NSW Pride||–|
|Trent Mitton (25)||26/11/1990||Perth, WA||Perth Thundersticks||168 (75)|
|Eddie Ockenden (11)||3/04/1987||Hobart, TAS||Tassie Tigers||358 (70)|
|Flynn Ogilvie (22)||17/09/1993||Wollongong, NSW||NSW Pride||103 (21)|
|Lachlan Sharp (1)||2/07/1997||Lithgow, NSW||NSW Pride||42 (8)|
|Josh Simmonds (15)||4/10/1995||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||15 (0)|
|Matthew Swann (20)||16/05/1989||Mackay, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||198 (7)|
|Jack Welch (21)||26/10/1997||Hobart, TAS||Tassie Tigers||8 (2)|
|Corey Weyer (3)||28/03/1996||Biggera Waters, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||38 (3)|
|Jacob Whetton (12)||16/06/1991||Brisbane, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||197 (64)|
|Tom Wickham (5)||26/05/1990||Morgan, SA||Perth Thundersticks||48 (20)|
|Dylan Wotherspoon (26)||9/04/1993||Murwillumbah, NSW||Brisbane Blaze||86 (30)|
|Aran Zalewski (17)||21/03/1991||Margaret River, WA||Perth Thundersticks||183 (23)|
FIH Pro League 2020 matches – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Saturday 25 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (6:30pm local)
Sunday 26 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (3:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (5:30pm local)
Saturday 1 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (4:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (6:30pm local)
Sunday 2 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (3:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (5:30pm local)
Click here for a full list of the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras FIH Pro League 2020 fixtures.