Olympics preparation begins for Hockeyroos in Japan
Photo Credits : Hockey Australia

Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin says the Four Nations Tournament which starts in Osaka on Wednesday is about commencing the side’s preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Australia (ranked third in the world) will play against South Korea (10th), United States (12th) and hosts Japan (14th) in the Four Nations which runs from 12-16 September.

The Hockeyroos’ opening match of the Four Nations is against Japan on Wednesday 12 September.

The event comes shortly after Australia finished fourth at the World Cup in London and gives the Hockeyroos a taste of Japanese conditions with less than two years until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “It comes at a difficult time straight after the World Cup. The girls have had some time off and have only been back in training for a short period of time.

It allows us to immerse ourselves and have a look at Japan in preparation for Tokyo.

We get to play some good opposition. We play the Asian champions, Japan, and South Korea who are a very good side and the US who are always good but rebuilding.

On top of that, we want to explore our way of play, change some things in order for us to be flexible going into Tokyo.

We need to discuss more about how to play and not only have one way of playing.”

The Hockeyroos travelled from Osaka to Tokyo on Monday, visiting some of the facilities for the 2020 Olympics.

It’s about immersing in a foreign country and understanding what it’s going to feel like,” Gaudoin said.

Obviously the Olympic Village is very separate but around that the Japanese culture is very different to ours and we want to make sure we have a good feel of what might be around, so there’s fewer surprises for us in two years’ time. This gives us an opportunity to do that two years out.”

Victorian pair Sophie Taylor and Hayley Padget and ACT’s Naomi Evans will make their debuts during the tournament, while SA’s Jane Claxton (150 games) and Queensland’s Stephanie Kershaw (50 games) will bring up milestones.

Hockeyroos team for Four Nations:
Athlete (Hometown, State):

Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Kristina Bates (Mont Albert, VIC)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Naomi Evans (Goulburn, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Ashlea Fey (Sunshine Coast, QLD)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Hayley Padget (Doncaster, VIC)
Mikaela Patterson (Blackbutt, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Sophie Taylor (Camberwell, VIC)
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC)

Match Schedule:
Wednesday 12 September 2018 5:30pm AEST – South Korea v USA
Wednesday 12 September 2018 7:30pm AEST – Japan v Australia
Thursday 13 September 2018 5:30pm AEST – Australia v South Korea
Thursday 13 September 2018 7:30pm AEST – Japan v USA
Saturday 15 September 2018 3pm AEST – Australia v USA
Saturday 15 September 2018 5pm AEST – Japan v South Korea
Sunday 16 September 2018 2:45pm AEST – Third place play-off
Sunday 16 September 2018 5pm AEST – Final