Kookaburras continue to regain injured stars in the build-up to London Olympics

[img_assist|nid=3086|title=Back from injury|desc=Kookaburra Luke Doerner – Treeby Images|link=node|align=left|width=200|height=264]Australia’s build-up towards the 2012 London Olympics hockey competition continues to gain momentum, with key defender and world class penalty corner specialist Luke Doerner set to return from injury to compete against India and Pakistan at a three nations tournament in Busselton and Bunbury over the next week.

Doerner joins the list of injured star players including Jamie Dwyer, Mark Knowles, Tim Deavin and Des Abbott who have been injured throughout the year but have made successful comebacks in the last month, while defender Joel Carroll will also return from a hamstring injury at the tournament.

With the 2011 Champions Trophy, the most prestigious event on the 2011 international hockey calendar, to be held in Auckland, New Zealand from December 3-11, this will be the Kookaburras final opportunity to play against quality opposition before the event.

Given the Kookaburras had a quiet first six months of the year after a hectic 2010, these matches fall into a vital period for the world number 1 team as they begin to play more international matches and train as a group in the build-up to the London Olympics.

After playing some good hockey but being pushed by New Zealand at the recent Oceania Cup, the Kookaburras will be looking for a consistent performance during the tournament.

The Kookaburras will know both India and Pakistan well after playing them last week at the inaugural Lanco International Super Series, an event won by the Kookaburras.

In addition to the return of Doerner, the tournament will give Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth further opportunity to add to the depth of his squad, debuting three players in Tristan White, Tristan Clemons and Aran Zalewski.

“Tristan While will be making his debut in Busselton and then we have Tristan Clemons and Aran Zalewski debuting next week in Bunbury. Pakistan have already qualified for the Olympics and India look likely to qualify so we need to look at these teams closely and these matches will be an important part of that assessment.”

“We have 25 steps until the Olympics and at the moment we are at step 4. Step five will be the matches next week, step six just prior to the Champions Trophy and step seven will be the Champions Trophy. So we are progressing as anticipated. We weren’t together for a long time earlier in the year so it takes a while to consolidate that, but that is part of our continuing process,” said Charlesworth.

Kookaburras squad – Busselton matches
George Bazeley (VIC), Andrew Charter (ACT), Chris Ciriello (VIC), Kiel Brown (WA), Liam De Young (QLD), Brent Dancer (WA), Matthew Swann (QLD), Mark Knowles (QLD), Matthew Butturini (NSW), Tristan White (NSW), Simon Orchard (NSW), Eddie Ockenden (TAS), Glenn Simpson (VIC), Jamie Dwyer (QLD), Des Abbott (NT), Kieran Govers (NSW), Glenn Turner (ACT), Jason Wilson (QLD)

Kookaburras squad – Bunbury matches(19 player selected will be reduced to 18 prior to matches)
Nathan Burgers (QLD), Tristan Clemons (WA), Ian Burcher (WA), Joel Carroll (NT), Luke Doerner (TAS), Matthew Swann (QLD), Aran Zalewski (WA), Matthew Butturini (NSW), Tim Deavin (TAS), Liam De Young (QLD), Simon Orchard (NSW), Eddie Ockenden (TAS), Glenn Simpson (VIC), Jamie Dwyer (QLD), Des Abbott (NT), Kieran Govers (NSW), Mark Paterson (NSW), Russell Ford (VIC), Matt Gohdes (QLD)

Wednesday 26 October
Busselton – 7.30pm WST
Kookaburras v Pakistan

Thursday 27 October
Busselton – 7.30pm WST
Kookaburras v India

Friday 28 October
Busselton – 5.30pm
Pakistan v India

Sunday 30 October
Bunbury – 3pm
Kookaburras v Pakistan

Monday 31 October
Bunbury – 7.30pm
Kookaburras v Pakistan

Tuesday 1 November
Bunbury – 5.30pm

India v Pakistan