World champions Argentina are continuing their Oceania adventures with a four-test women’s hockey series against Commonwealth Games gold medallists Australia.
Las Leonas head to Australia after tieing a three-test series in New Zealand (with one drawn game). While the Hockeyroos, under new coach Adam Commens, recently recorded a win and two draws against Argentina in Argentina – suggesting the series will be a closely fought one.
Since Commens’ took the reins, the Hockeyroos have continue to expose more new players to interantional hockey – a policy which will continue in this series. Key defender Teneal Attard also returns to the squad after after suffering an ACL (knee) injury only last September at the 2010 World Cup.
Former Hockeyroo Renee Trost, who has not been part of the Hockeyroos squad since being an emergency at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will also make a return to international hockey during these matches.
The schedule has been filled out with a number of Australia A games, including a match against Argentina on Friday (April 1). Commens said exposing even more players to the world’s best team in such a short period is a crucial aspect of the team’s preparation for the London Olympics.
“After a successful tour of Argentina, we will continue the theme of exposing as many players as possible to international competition in the early stages of our preparation towards London. It is our intention to have an open selection policy during this phase so we can observe the different dynamics and combinations that are available to the Hockeyroos,” said Commens.
“It’s good to have Teneal back in the squad. It’s important to note that we will need to assess her physical ability for her to maintain her standard at the international level. For her the next six months will be about consolidating her spot moving forward.”
Commens also noted his delight in seeing veteran Renee Trost work her way back into the team after not being involved in the international program for almost three years.
“She is an outstanding athlete who is physically superior and has a high aerobic capacity, something which was evident during the training camp earlier in the year. We wanted to see how she went at the next level and she will be given her chance during these matches,” said Commens.
(National Hockey Centre, Canberra)
Friday April 1 Australia A v Argentina 6pm
Saturday April 2 Hockeyroos v Argentina 5pm
Sunday April 3 Australia A v Hockeyroos 4pm
Monday April 4 Australia A v Argentina 3.30pm
Tuesday April 5 Hockeyroos v Argentina 7pm
(Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre)
Friday April 8 Hockeyroos v Argentina 7pm
Saturday April 9 Hockeyroos v Argentina 4pm