Hockeyroos and Kookaburras set for start of Pro League campaigns

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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.