Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Australia call up veteran goalkeeeper for Kookaburras hockey squad

Australian veteran goalkeeper Ben Rennie has been called up to the Kookaburras squad along with three of the country’s emerging hockey talent.

The 19-year-old striker Craig Marais, a livewire Victorian, 20-year-old attacking midfielder Ky Willott, Western Australian defender James Collins and experienced goalkeeper Ben Rennie complete the Kookaburras’ 27-player roster for 2022, in a year featuring the Commonwealth Games and preparation for the early 2023 World Cup.

Rennie, 31, who has represented Australia at an Indoor Hockey World Cup, is set to bolster the Kookaburras’ goalkeeping stocks after Tyler Lovell retired last year.

Coach Colin Batch said: “He is at the other end of the spectrum being a mature age selection. An experienced goalkeeper, he has been the goalkeeper for Australia’s Indoor hockey team.

“He has performed really well in that environment so he brings those skills into our goalkeeping line. We know at the Olympics last year the goalkeepers who performed best were aged 30 and above, so he brings a maturity to the group.”

Ben Rennie

Batch said that Willott and Marais had impressed in the Sultana Bran Hockey One League at the end of 2019.

He said: “They have shown some real quality and are both smart hockey players. Potentially they can grow into really good players for the Kookaburras and we hope that happens.

“James Collins has progressed a lot in the past couple of years and was part of our performance camp a couple of weeks ago so we know the positives he can bring to the group.”

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