Hockey Australia today announces the travelling Hockeyroos team to play New Zealand, Argentina and USA in the Pacific leg of the FIH Pro League.
The Hockeyroos return to FIH Pro League action after a five-week break with an ANZAC Day encounter with Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in Auckland on Thursday.
The team faces Argentina next in Buenos Aires on Saturday 4 May, before travelling on to Pennsylvania to take on USA on Friday 10 May.
The world number three Hockeyroos, who currently sit fourth on the women’s FIH Pro League standings, have selected a 21-member team for the Pacific leg.
Numerous athletes were unavailable due to injury, including Mariah Williams, Renee Taylor, Karri McMahon and Stephanie Kershaw.
Seventeen-year-old Victorian Amy Lawton is included to make her international debut, while 28-year-old Tamworth defender Kate Jenner earns her first recall in years.
Jenner, who was part of the Hockeyroos’ 2012 London Olympics team, has 116 caps to her name, the last coming in August 2015.
South Australian Mikaela Spano, who debuted in the Hockeyroos’ last round of FIH Pro League matches against New Zealand and Argentina, is also included from outside the 2019 National Senior Women’s Squad.
Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “Selection was pretty tough. We’re going to expose some new players.
“Kate Jenner is coming back after playing a few years ago. She had an excellent Australian Hockey League last year.
“She has performed well in our Visiting Athlete Agreement in Perth, so she gets an opportunity.
“Amy Lawton is a young girl at 17 but is an excellent player already. We look forward to seeing how she progresses.
“She impressed in her Visiting Athlete Agreement week in Perth and played extremely well for the Australian Under-21 team in New Zealand previously. She’s been on the radar for quite a while.”
Gaudoin added that injuries meant he had to look outside the 2019 National Senior Women’s Squad.
“There’s a couple that are injured who are reasonably close,” Gaudoin said.
“Mariah Williams is just a bit sore so she’s only just come back this year. We need to make sure we look after her, so we’ve been extra cautious with her.
“Renee Taylor was pretty close to selection but we need to get a few more weeks of training into her. Hopefully both of them will be okay for the China-Europe leg.”
The matches mark Australia’s first on the road in the FIH Pro League.
Gaudoin added: “It’s a big leg of matches with a lot of travel.
“We’ve had a good block of training here in Perth. We’re really looking forward to the challenges ahead.”
The team flew out of Perth for New Zealand on Easter Sunday. The matches will be televised live by Kayo Sports and on FOX SPORTS 506.
Thursday 25 April 2019 – North Harbour Hockey Stadium, Auckland
New Zealand v Hockeyroos – 12:30pm AEST
New Zealand v Kookaburras – 2:30pm AEST
Hockeyroos 21-member team:
- Kristina Bates
- Edwina Bone
- Lily Brazel
- Emily Chalker
- Jane Claxton
- Kalindi Commerford
- Madison Fitzpatrick
- Savannah Fitzpatrick
- Kate Jenner
- Jodie Kenny
- Amy Lawton
- Rachael Lynch
- Ambrosia Malone
- Georgina Morgan
- Kaitlin Nobbs
- Brooke Peris
- Michaela Spano
- Grace Stewart
- Sophie Taylor
- Ashlee Wells
- Georgia Wilson