Somerville to debut as Hockeyroos prepare for formidable Argentina

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Local 20 year old defender Karri Somerville will become the Hockeyroos’ latest debutant when she takes the field against Argentina in Perth in the FIH Pro League tomorrow (Friday 6 March).

Somerville has impressed at training since joining the squad at the start of the year and Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin has no hesitation injecting her into the fray for her first game.

“Karri played really well during the Sultana Bran Hockey One season which gave her the opportunity to make the squad, and she has been building nicely in her training over the last six to eight weeks in Perth and deserves her spot this weekend,” said Gaudoin.

“What we say about Karri is that we think she has a great temperament to play at the elite level. She focuses on playing, doesn’t get distracted by too much, she is a very good athlete and we’re looking forward to her playing and enjoying the opportunity to represent her country.”

Somerville’s opportunity comes after the Hockeyroos have been bunkering down and spent a solid month training in the lead up to the matches with Argentina.

This solid block of work has seen every player in the squad enter this weekend with a full bill of health, giving Gaudoin a host of positive selection headaches.

“The girls have really been pushing each other. They know it is team first but one of the things we are really keen to instil is that in order to help the team, they know that they have to play their best and help their teammate next to them,” said Gaudoin.

“They have been doing that well and we have pretty much got everyone back on the track in terms of selection, so it has been nice to be able to have that ability to choose from a deep squad and people will get some opportunities this weekend.”

With a near full squad to choose from, Gaudoin says he will use the matches against Argentina to give players an opportunity to stake their claims.

“We’re certainly trying to develop our group, but we also want to make sure we give players the opportunity to show what they can do,” said Gaudoin.

“This period is about the Olympics coming up and we want to make sure we have the opportunity to select from a deeper squad come selection time for Tokyo.

“This weekend in Perth gives us that opportunity and we have also got selections for our European Pro League matches on the line as well.

“The girls are aware of the importance of their performance this weekend in terms of putting their best foot forward to be in contention for our matches in Europe.”

The last time the Hockeyroos faced Argentina was in last year’s thrilling FIH Pro League semi final, which the Hockeyroos won in a shootout.

Argentina currently sit third, one spot below the Hockeyroos on the world rankings, and have the world number one Netherlands as one of their scalps this year.

Gaudoin is expecting a fierce contest and is relishing the challenge a match hardened Argentina will pose after they had mixed results against New Zealand in Christchurch last weekend.

“They have consistently been near the top and that is for a reason. They are ultra competitive and their younger brigade who are here are hungry, so that will be a real test for us,” said Gaudoin.

“They are a very skilful team, they never lie down and they are quite physical, so it is really a great opportunity to test ourselves against one of the top teams in the world.”

Friday and Saturday’s double headers will be part of Hockey Australia’s special Indigenous themed round, which will celebrate the contribution and positive impact Indigenous players and the Indigenous community have made and continue to make to hockey.

Tickets are available through Ticketek.

Both matches can be seen LIVE on Kayo, while Friday’s match will also be LIVE on Fox Sports. There will also be LIVE Twitter coverage on the official Kookaburras Twitter account.

Australia v Argentina – FIH Pro League 2020 Match Details

Friday 6 March, Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University
Hockeyroos v Argentina (6:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Argentina (8:30pm local)

Saturday 7 March, Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University
Hockeyroos v Argentina (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Argentina (6:30pm local)

Hockeyroos v Argentina – Overall Record
Played 100; Won 41, Drawn 29, Lost 30

Official FIH match pages: Match 1 | Match 2

Hockeyroos team v Argentina – Match 1 (6 March 2020)

Name (Number) Date of Birth Hometown, State Hockey One Team Caps (Goals)
Laura Barden (31) 9/06/1994 Kew, VIC HC Melbourne 42 (5)
Edwina Bone (13) 24/04/1988 Orange, NSW Canberra Chill 201 (5)
Lily Brazel (9) 26/01/1995 Sydney, NSW HC Melbourne 50 (1)
Jane Claxton (18) 26/10/1992 Adelaide, SA Adelaide Fire 181 (18)
Kalindi Commerford (23) 18/11/1993 Ulladulla, ACT Canberra Chill 49 (8)
Jodie Kenny (7) 18/08/1987 Wamuran, QLD Brisbane Blaze 233 (111)
Stephanie Kershaw (14) 19/04/1995 Townsville, QLD 62 (7)
Amy Lawton (4) 19/01/2002 Emerald, VIC HC Melbourne 13 (3)
Rachael Lynch (gk) (27) 2/07/1986 Warrandyte, VIC HC Melbourne 222 (0)
Karri McMahon (11) 27/02/1992 Berri, SA Adelaide Fire 151 (10)
Gabi Nance (16) 29/07/1994 Adelaide, SA Adelaide Fire 74 (8)
Kaitlin Nobbs (15) 24/09/1997 Newington, NSW NSW Pride 80 (4)
Karri Somerville (20) 7/04/1999 Kensington, WA Perth Thundersticks
Grace Stewart (30) 24/04/1997 Gerringong, NSW NSW Pride 85 (25)
Renee Taylor (21) 28/09/1996 Everton Park, QLD Brisbane Blaze 80 (8)
Sophie Taylor (1) 12/09/1995 Melbourne, VIC HC Melbourne 33 (1)
Ashlee Wells (gk) (5) 1/08/1989 Morwell, VIC Adelaide Fire 119 (0)
Mariah Williams (24) 31/05/1995 Parkes, NSW NSW Fire 81 (15)