Experienced Hockeyroo Karri McMahon says the side wants to build on their promising World Cup semi-finals appearance when they shoot for glory at the upcoming Champions Trophy.
Australia rose to the number three ranking following their fourth place at the World Cup where they knocked out Argentina, who they’ll face in their Champions Trophy opener on Saturday (7pm AEDT on FOX SPORTS’ stream).
The Hockeyroos suffered heartbreak in the semi-finals after a gallant 1-1 draw with world number one Netherlands, before losing in a shootout.
The Dutch head into the Champions Trophy as the favourites, while Argentina are the reigning champions. Great Britain, China PR and Japan will also compete.
Australia’s World Cup semi-final appearance showed the side’s growth following major changes after failing to medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and having finished as runners-up at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.
“As a group we really want to put together some strong performances following on from the World Cup,” said McMahon who’ll compete at her third Champions Trophy.
“It’s not quite the same team but we still want to have an improved style of play from that again.
“We want to start to look towards our selections for next year and Tokyo.
“For us, it’s about putting in some performances we’re proud of and look back in time and reflect on it as something special for everyone.”
The national selectors have called up three uncapped players; Rebecca Greiner, Greta Hayes and Penny Squibb, who spent the past week training with the squad.
Berri-born defender McMahon said the newcomers had brought plenty of enthusiasm, in a boost to their hopes of winning the trophy.
“We’ve got a really strong chance after the World Cup,” she said.
“We’ve got some enthusiasm coming through the group with some new selections which will put us in good stead to contend for it.”
The Hockeyroos warmed up for Saturday’s opener with a 2-1 win over China PR in a 2×15-minute match on Thursday.
Skipper Emily Smith scored Australia’s opener with a field goal, before veteran Jodie Kenny netted a late drag flick from a penalty corner to clinch the win.
The Hockeyroos arrived in Changzhou on Tuesday, where the players began to acclimatising to the cold and wet Chinese conditions.
“It’s a bit of a different climate than what we’re used to,” McMahon said.
“It’ll be a challenge for us. Also being in a massive major city, compared to Perth where we train, will bring a different challenge in itself.
“Keeping the team fit and healthy will be another challenge and preparations for that started weeks ago.”