Hockey Australia today confirms the first-ever Kookaburras team for the inaugural FIH Pro League matches against the Netherlands and Belgium at Melbourne’s State Netball and Hockey Centre this weekend.
Australia will play their first matches in the world-first FIH Pro League which pits the world’s best nations against each other on a weekly home-and-away basis.
The world number two Kookaburras will play last month’s World Cup runners-up Netherlands (ranked third) and World Cup winners Belgium (ranked first).
They’ll be seeking revenge on Saturday, with the Kookaburras knocked out in the World Cup semis by the Dutch in December.
The Kookaburras have named a 20-member travelling party for the two matches, including local trio Johan Durst, Aaron Kleinschmidt and Josh Simmonds.
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said: “It’s a balanced selection for Melbourne where we want to give everyone an opportunity at this stage.
“We’re looking at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and what that might bring so we’re looking to give people an opportunity starting with the FIH Pro League.”
On the opposition, Batch added: “It’s a great coup for Melbourne. We’ve got the number one, number two and number three in the world but also the gold, silver and bronze medallists for the World Cup so the Melbourne fans are in for a treat.”
Saturday’s matches against the Netherlands will LIVE on FOX SPORTS 507 from 3pm AEDT, while Sunday’s matches against Belgium will be delayed on FOX SPORTS and live on kayosports.com.au.
Tickets are selling fast but still available for the Melbourne matches by ticketbooth.com.au.
Australian home fixtures (*all times are local)
Saturday 2 February 2019 – State Netball & Hockey Centre, Melbourne
Kookaburras v Netherlands – 3pm, Hockeyroos v Netherlands – 5pm
Sunday 3 February 2019 – State Netball & Hockey Centre, Melbourne
Kookaburras v Belgium – 3pm, Hockeyroos v Belgium – 5pm
Kookaburras Full Squad
- Jacob Anderson
- Daniel Beale
- Joshua Beltz
- Timothy Brand
- Andrew Charter
- Tom Craig
- Johan Durst
- Blake Govers
- Jake Harvie
- Jeremy Hayward
- Tim Howard
- Aaron Kleinschmidt
- Trent Mitton
- Eddie Ockenden
- Lachlan Sharp
- Joshua Simmonds
- Matthew Swann
- Corey Weyer
- Jake Whetton
- Aran Zalewski