The Hockeyroos enter their back-to-back FIH Pro League matches against Great Britain in Sydney this weekend with a string of positive recent results over the reigning Olympic champions, and it’s a record they are eager to extend.
The Hockeyroos have won five of the past six meetings with Great Britain, that solitary loss coming at the last Olympics as GB went on to win the gold medal.
After the Hockeyroos earned three points against Belgium to open their FIH Pro League campaign last weekend, Head Coach Paul Gaudoin has included Greta Hayes and defender Sophie Taylor to the team to face a Great Britain side who has spent the past week in Australia acclimatising to the warm and humid conditions they can expect at Sydney Olympic Park.
“For Greta, she had a tough time last year with some injuries, so we’re looking forward to seeing her run around tomorrow in front of her home crowd,” said Gaudoin.
“Great Britain are a very good team and I rate them very highly. We had two wins over them last year in the Pro League but they were very tight games.
Adding intrigue to the encounters is that Great Britain are coached by former Kookaburra Mark Hager, who Gaudoin played alongside for the national team.
“I played with Mark in my early days for the Kookaburras and he coached me at one stage as well,” said Gaudin.
“I have a lot of respect for him in what he has done in his coaching career to date and he knows the way Australian teams like to play so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.”
“We are a work in progress at the moment and there are some things we are trying to add to our game. We need flexibility in how we play leading up to Tokyo so we’ll be looking to take that to another level this weekend.”
Of added significance ahead of tomorrow’s game, defensive duo Edwina Bone and Karri McMahon are in line to celebrate major individual milestones.
Bone is preparing to play her 200th match, while for McMahon, who has had to endure a number of injury setbacks since making her debut in 2012, is set to run out for the Hockeyroos for the 150th time.
“For Karri McMahon to reach 150 games, it is a tremendous achievement,” said Gaudoin.
“She has had some really tough challenges with injury over the last few years, so it is real credit to her and her ability to work through some long rehabilitation.
“It’s a credit to what the Hockeyroos means to her in terms of Karri being able to get herself in a position to be back playing at this level.”
“Edwina (Bone) epitomises what the Hockeyroos are. She is a warrior, she is committed to the cause and she works as hard as anyone on the pitch so it is great reward for her to get to 200 games.”
This weekend’s matches are the final time the Hockeyroos will play on the east coast before Tokyo 2020, an occasion that is not lost on forward Grace Stewart, who heralds from Gerringong near Wollongong.
“Playing at home is so special,” said Stewart on the eve of the match.
“Now that we get the opportunity to pay in Australia more often with the Pro League, it is really exciting and we would love to see a big crowd at Sydney Olympic Park as it’s a farewell match of sorts because we won’t be back here before Tokyo.”
Tickets for the double headers against Great Britain are available now through Ticketek. The matches will be broadcast on Kayo and/or Fox Sports.
Hockeyroos Team v Great Britain – FIH Pro League 2020
|Name (Number)||Date of Birth||Hometown, State||Hockey One Team||Caps (Goals)|
|Jocelyn Bartram (gk) (19)||4/05/1993||Albury, NSW||NSW Pride||49 (0)|
|Edwina Bone (13)||24/04/1988||Orange, NSW||Canberra Chill||199 (5)|
|Emily Chalker (26)||28/07/1992||Crookwell, NSW||NSW Pride||237 (82)|
|Jane Claxton (18)||26/10/1992||Adelaide, SA||Adelaide Fire||179 (18)|
|Kalindi Commerford (23)||18/11/1993||Ulladulla, ACT||Canberra Chill||47 (8)|
|Greta Hayes (12)||17/10/1996||Sydney, NSW||NSW Pride||6 (0)|
|Kate Jenner (22)||5/05/1990||Mudgee, NSW||NSW Pride||124 (1)|
|Jodie Kenny (7)||18/08/1987||Wamuran, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||231 (111)|
|Stephanie Kershaw (14)||19/04/1995||Townsville, QLD||–||61 (6)|
|Rachael Lynch (gk) (27)||2/07/1986||Warrandyte, VIC||HC Melbourne||221 (0)|
|Rosie Malone (2)||8/01/1998||Burleigh, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||48 (11)|
|Karri McMahon (11)||27/02/1992||Berri, SA||Adelaide Fire||149 (10)|
|Kaitlin Nobbs (15)||24/09/1997||Newington, NSW||NSW Pride||78 (4)|
|Brooke Peris (3)||16/01/1993||Darwin, NT||Canberra Chill||169 (26)|
|Grace Stewart (30)||24/04/1997||Gerringong, NSW||NSW Pride||83 (24)|
|Renee Taylor (21)||28/09/1996||Everton Park, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||79 (8)|
|Sophie Taylor (1)||12/09/1995||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||31 (1)|
|Georgia Wilson (8)||20/05/1996||Mahogany Creek, WA||Perth Thundersticks||35 (0)|
Hockeyroos v Great Britain – Overall Record
Played 51; Won 37, Drawn 7, Lost 7
FIH Pro League 2020 matches – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Saturday 25 January
Hockeyroos 3 (Malone 21’, Bone 59’, Commerford 60’)
Belgium 3 (Versavel 33’, Englebert 45’, Nelen 55’)
Hockeyroos win 4-2 on penalties
Sunday 26 January
Hockeyroos 1 (Nance 45’)
Belgium 1 (Duquesne 47’)
Belgium wins 3-1 on penalties
Saturday 1 February
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (6:30pm local)
Sunday 2 February
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (5:30pm local)
Click here for a full list of the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras FIH Pro League 2020 fixtures.