Hockey Australia today announces the 27-member 2019 National Senior Men’s Squad as the team builds towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The world number one Kookaburras will compete in the inaugural FIH Pro League from January to June next year, followed by the Oceania Cup which is the qualification event for the Tokyo Olympics.
The Selection Panel considered a number of priorities upon selecting the squad, with a long-term view to medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics along with achieving performance benchmarks in 2019 at the Pro League and Olympic qualification.
The Selection Panel also looked to reward impressive performances within the daily training environment and national/international matches throughout 2018.
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said: “Our 2019 squad selection is formed with a longer view to what our squad needs to look like in 2020.
“This is the rationale behind all of our decisions, so we’ve added three new players.”
Mackay’s Jacob Anderson, Wollongong’s Jack Hayes and Hobart’s Jack Welch are the three new additions to the National Senior Men’s Squad.
Forward pair Anderson, 21, and Welch, 21, both debuted for the Kookaburras in September’s Darwin International Hockey Open and were involved in Australia’s pre-World Cup training camp. Both also scored in their second match, a 5-2 win over Malaysia.
Midfielder Hayes, 24, is elevated from the National Development Squad, having scored six goals for 2018 Australian Hockey League runners-up New South Wales.
He’s also the cousin of ex-Hockeyroo Casey Sablowski and competed for Australia at the 2018 Indoor World Cup in Berlin.
“Jacob Anderson is a good striker who can play midfield,” Batch said. “He’s come up through the junior ranks in Queensland.
“We gave him some opportunities in VAAs (Visiting Athlete Agreement) this year and in the Australia A-Malaysia series.
He made his debut for the Kookaburras in Darwin in September and is a good player for the future.
“Jack Welch has had a very similar build-up to Jacob. He’s spent time with our group in VAAs and also debuted for the Kookaburras in Darwin.
“He was also part of the Australia A-Malaysia series. He’s a penalty corner option and comes in with a lot of promise as a striker.
“Jack Hayes has also had opportunities with us in Perth. He also played in the Australia A-Malaysia games.
“We watched him closely during the AHL and there’s a lot of potential there. He’s gained experience playing for Australia in the Indoor World Cup and we feel he can add some strength in our midfield and as a striker.”
Kieran Govers announced his retirement earlier in the week, while 26-year-old Tasmanian defender Jeremy Edwards has been omitted.
“Jeremy has been with us over the past two years and previously around the Kookaburras scene, so it’s unfortunate that he misses out,” Batch said.
“He’s had a variety of roles, defensive midfield, attacking midfield and also in the back four. It’s one of those hard decisions from a High Performance point of view that we’ve opted to go elsewhere.
“We’ve got some younger players who are playing well in his designated positions. He’s achieved a lot with the Kookaburras so we want to wish him well.”
Batch added: “It’s the end of the road for Kieran. He did very well to come back after a disappointing 2016 and he had a few injuries during that time.
“He got himself back to 100 per cent and gave it everything. He played in the Darwin series, so credit to him.
“He’s a great example to the younger players on how to be a pro, with his training ethic and commitment on the ground.
He’s in a different phase of his life with a young family to look after so he goes out with our blessing. We wish him well for the future.”
The Kookaburras will fly out for India on Friday to compete at the 2018 World Cup where they’re chasing a third consecutive title.
Upon their return to Perth, the squad will reconvene for training on Monday 14 January after a break, ahead of the Pro League which starts for Australia against the Netherlands on Saturday 2 February in Melbourne on Fox Sports.
2019 National Senior Men’s Squad :
- Jacob Anderson
- Daniel Beale
- Joshua Beltz
- Tim Brand
- Andrew Charter
- Tom Craig
- Matthew Dawson
- Johan Durst
- Blake Govers
- Jake Harvie
- Jack Hayes
- Jeremy Hayward
- Tim Howard
- Aaron Kleinschmidt
- Tyler Lovell
- Trent Mitton
- Edward Ockenden
- Flynn Ogilvie
- Lachlan Sharp
- Josh Simmonds
- Matthew Swann
- Jack Welch
- Corey Weyer
- Jacob Whetton
- Tom Wickham
- Dylan Wotherspoon
- Aran Zalewski