Friday, April 19, 2024

Australia keep Commonwealth core for Hockeyroos 2023 squad

Five Australia women players will vye for the remaining berths on offer in head coach Katrina Powell’s 23-strong hockey squad for 2023.

Seventeen athletes were selected by Powell initially – all of whom were a core part of this year’s Hockeyroos squad that won a silver medal at Commonwealth Games and bronze at the Women’s World Cup.

A further 20 players have been selected to attend a Visiting Athlete Agreement Selection Camp in Sydney in January. The remaining five spots for the final Hockeyroos squad of 22 players will be announced following the selection camp.

Powell said: “Obviously a squad of 22 is a small number to work with so we need to make sure the remaining five selections we make are the right ones, but we will also use a greater number of athletes next year.

“We have a lot of matches in 2023 and want to expose a number of athletes to make sure we are picking the best team for the Oceania Cup in August and then the right squad for Paris the following year.”

Powell said the return of the Hockey One League provided an excellent indicator when assessing players for selection, particularly given the Hockeyroos have not played an international since their Commonwealth Games silver.

“It was fantastic to see the Hockey One League back up and running and to see the best players in the country compete against each other,” said Powell.

Powell said the Hockeyroos enter 2023 buoyed by the progress they have made in the last 12 months.

“I was really pleased with our year because we showed we are in the mix,” said Powell.

“It also confirmed that we are not where we want to be yet. It’s a starting point but we know we have teams ahead of us and we know we are in a mix of countries who are also looking to improve and chase down the top countries.

“We need to keep improving and developing our game to make sure we are on the podium in Paris.”

Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles said the future is bright for Australian women’s hockey at the top level.

“The past 12 months have shown the positive direction both on and off the field the Hockeyroos are heading in and the potential in our elite level women’s program,” said Pryles.

“With our return to the FIH Pro League, a series against India in May in Adelaide plus the Oceania Cup in August, we look forward to seeing the Hockeyroos in action plenty of times in 2023.”

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