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Australia ready for Hockey World Cup hat-trick men’s bid

Australia

Australia coach Colin Batch says that the Kookaburras can continue performing on the big stage as they bid for a third straight World Cup title.

Hockey Australia have announced an 18-man squad, led by co-captains Aran Zalewski and Eddie Ockenden, for the 16-nation tournament in India.

However, Kieran Govers, who played in 2010 and 2014 and looked to have made his way back into the World Cup reckoning, was not selected by Batch in Friday’s squad, while inspirational leader Mark Knowles has retired.

The world No 1 side meet England (7th), Ireland (10th) and China (17th) in a tough-looking pool.

And Batch is aware of the potential upsets a World Cup can offer, especially with the women’s version in the summer.

“You create your own pressure and intensity. Everyone that goes to a World Cup has an expectation to win and we’re no different,” said Batch.

“We only control the things we can and we did that very successfully in the Commonwealth Games.

“We had a home Commonwealth Games and were able to perform on the big stage, so we’ll carry that through some of that experience.”

Batch chose six players from the Queensland Blades side that won last week’s Australian Hockey League title, while the domestic league’s top-scorer Blake Govers returns from injury, so does attacker Trent Mitton.

Meanwhile Corey Weyer will add fresh spark to the World Cup squad.

“We’re very pleased with the way he developed this year. It’s his first year in the squad, relocated to Perth, really enjoyed his time here,” said Batch.

“But he knuckled down and made some good choices early on about his training. He was injured earlier in the year but found a way to go to another level.”

The Kookaburras play Ireland on November 30 to kick start their tournament.

Australia squad:

Daniel Beale, Timothy Brand, Andrew Charter, Tom Craig, Matthew Dawson, Blake Govers, Jake Harvie, Jeremy Hayward, Tim Howard, Tyler Lovell, Trent Mitton, Eddie Ockenden, Flynn Ogilvie, Matthew Swann, Corey Weyer, Jake Whetton, Dylan Wotherspoon, Aran Zalewski.



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