Australia will take 10 players from the 2010 hockey World Cup winning squad to the Hague next month to defend their title.
Only two countries – Pakistan and Germany – have ever won back-to-back World Cups.
Coach Ric Charlesworth said: “It’s as hard as it’s ever been for me. 28 [fit athletes] doesn’t go into 18. It’s been a difficult process and there are two or three very unlucky people; some we just couldn’t find a place for.”
Of the 2010 gold medal winning side, Liam De Young, Jamie Dwyer, Kieran Govers, Rob Hammond, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Matthew Swann and Glenn Turner will all make the trip to The Hague. For Queenslanders Dwyer and De Young it will be a fourth World Cup having both also played in the Kookaburras’ 2002 and 2006 silver medal winning campaigns. Mark Knowles, Rob Hammond and Russell Ford were also part of the 2006 squad.
For 21-year-old Northern Territorian Jeremy Hayward selection marks another milestone in an exciting few months. Having played for the Australian U21 side, the Burras, at the Junior World Cup in December 2013, he made his senior international début just last month in the Kookaburras’ successful Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign, scoring three goals.
“Jeremy Hayward and Aran Zalewski have earned their spots through what they’ve done in the past few months,” Charlesworth said. “Jake Whetton and Glenn Simpson are two others who will go to a tournament of this magnitude for the first time.
“There’s a few senior heads there who have stood up to the load. We’ve got Liam De Young playing in the midfield but we know he gives us flexibility in defence too. And our forward line are all good goal scorers.
“A number of our players – both in the World Cup squad and amongst those that haven’t been selected – have been injured but we believe they are on the right trajectory; the next month is critical for them to consolidate that recovery.”
Having come through last week’s test series against New Zealand unscathed, Matthew Swann and Fergus Kavanagh are named following lengthy lay-offs through injury.
Goalkeepers Andrew Charter and Tyler Lovell receive the call up. Victorians Chris Ciriello and Glenn Simpson are included with 2012 Olympian Ciriello having missed the World League Finals through injury and Simpson set to play in the biggest tournament of his career having missed out on selection for the 2012 Olympic Games and the World League Finals in January.
Charlesworth continued: “As with every tournament we enter we want to play in the main games at the end. To do that you need to hit the ground running and perform consistently through the tournament. We’ll have a few two and three-day breaks in this competition, which will be a new challenge for us but one I believe we’re capable of managing.”
The Kookaburras have won the World Cup on two previous occasions; in 1986 and 2010. Only Pakistan (1978 and 1982) and Germany (2002 and 2006) have successfully defended a men’s World Cup title.
Both the Kookaburras’ campaign, and the Hockeyroos’ World Cup being held at the same time in The Hague, will be broadcast in Australia by the ABC.
Before departing for the World Cup, the Kookaburras will select two reserves to travel to Europe as contingency cover. The Kookaburras’ final World Cup preparations will take place in England and the Netherlands with two matches against World League bronze medallists England at Bisham Abbey on May 24-5. After arriving in The Hague, the team will face Argentina and Germany in two unofficial, shortened practice games before opening the World Cup against Malaysia on Saturday May 31 .
Kookaburras’ squad for Rabobank Hockey World Cup
The Hague, Netherlands
31 May – 15 June 2014
Athlete (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals [Age]
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT) 61/0 
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 131/76 
Liam De Young (Brisbane, QLD) 303/34 
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 312/203 
Russell Ford (Melbourne, VIC) 150/72 
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW) 84/40 
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD) 247/28 
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 8/3 
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA) 176/14 
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 231/19 
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 22/0 
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 206/52 
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW) 141/46 
Glenn Simpson (Eltham, VIC) 106/20 
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD) 98/5 
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 103/76 
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 53/23 
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 28/3 
Kookaburras’ record at the World Cup
1971 – Barcelona, ESP – 8th
1973 – Amstelveen, NED – Did not participate
1975 – Kuala Lumpur, MAS – 5th
1978 – Buenos Aires, ARG – Bronze
1982 – Bombay, IND – Bronze
1986 – London, ENG – Gold
1990 – Lahore, PAK – Bronze
1994 – Sydney, AUS – Bronze
1998 – Utrecht, NED – 4th
2002 – Kuala Lumpur, MAS – Silver
2006 – Monchengladbach, GER – Silver
2010 – New Delhi, IND – Gold
World Cup arrangements & match schedule
19 May – Kookaburras depart for England
24 May – Kookaburras v England, first Test
25 May – Kookaburras v England, second Test
26 May – Kookaburras arrive in The Hague
28-29 May – Unofficial practice matches v Argentina & Germany
31 May – Kookaburras v Malaysia, 6:30pm AEST / 4:30pm AWST
2 June – Kookaburras v Spain, 9:00pm AEST / 7:00pm AWST
5 June – Kookaburras v Belgium, 00:00am AEST (6 June) / 10:00pm AWST
7 June – Kookaburras v England, 00:00am AEST (8 June) / 10:00pm AWST
9 June – Kookaburras v India, 9:00pm AEST / 7:00pm AWST
12 June – TBC – Classification matches
13 June – TBC – Semi Finals
14 June – TBC – Classification matches
15 June – TBC – Medal Matches