It has been a long wait for the Australian Hockeyroos as the national women’s side takes on the New Zealand Black Sticks before turning attention to the world cup and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
A 9-month wait for the Hockeyroos to be back playing international hockey ends when they take on New Zealand in the opening match of the Trans-Taman Series in Auckland.
Last year’s Tokyo Olympic quarter-final was the last time the Hockeyroos took to the pitch internationally.
Having arrived in Auckland with four debutants and 11 players in total who have played less than 20 internationals, the eagerness among the Hockeyroos camp is brimming.
New squad additions Claire Colwill, Hattie Shand and Shanea Tonkin are preparing to represent the Hockeyroos for the first time, as is 18-year-old Hannah Cullum-Sanders who was brought in for this series from the National Development Squad.
A host of other players in the squad missed out on selection for the Hockeyroos’ Tokyo Olympic campaign so the excitement and enthusiasm is palpable.
“There are so many fresh faces in our team…a lot of girls keen to get onto the international stage, prove themselves, and for us, it’s about being back out there again ahead of the World Cup and Commonwealth Games,” Hockeyroos co-captain Jane Claxton said about the series.
“Retirements after Olympics are common so new girls have come in, there will be debuts happening so it’s exciting in that respect.
“In terms of structures, with Katrina Powell as our head coach she wants to play an attacking style of hockey, scoring goals and being on the front foot.”
“There has been a huge build-up and you will probably see that in the first 2 minutes of the game…everyone wanting to touch the ball.
“Tokyo finished disappointingly for us, so we have spent a lot of time doing cultural stuff as a group as well as training on the pitch.
“We look forward to familiarising ourselves with international hockey again.
As close Oceania neighbours, the Hockeyroos and the Black Sticks have a fierce rivalry and play against each other more than any other country.
However, the string of new faces in both squads, together with the lack of hockey both teams have played, adds intrigue to what will unfold over the next six days.
“We have a new team, as do New Zealand so we’re not too sure what to expect…but it’s exciting and everyone is really looking forward to it,” Brooke Peris said, who will share the captaincy duties with Claxton.
“The focus for us is working on our connections. We’ve worked really hard at training so tomorrow will be great as we get to showcase what we’ve been working on.”
The 4-match Trans-Tasman series beings with Match 1 today, with the remaining games on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
For the Hockeyroos, the Trans-Tasman Series is a major selection tool for the FIH Women’s World Cup Spain & Netherlands being held from 1-17 July plus the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Trans-Tasman Series 2022
Hockeyroos v Black Sticks Women
National Hockey Centre, Auckland New Zealand
Tuesday 10 May (7.05pm local, 5.05pm AEST)
Thursday 12 May (7.05pm local, 5.05pm AEST)
Saturday 14 May (3.35pm local, 1.35pm AEST)
Sunday 15 May (3.35pm local, 1.35pm AEST)
Broadcast: Streamed LIVE in Australia on LIVEHockey.
Hockeyroos Trans-Tasman squad:
1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 6.Penny Squibb, 7.Aleisha Power (gk), 8.Georgia Wilson, 9.Shanea Tonkin, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 11.Meg Pearce, 12.Greta Hayes, 13.Hattie Shand, 14.Steph Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs, 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton (c), 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20.Karri Somerville, 24.Mariah Williams, 28.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 30.Grace Stewart
With thanks Hockey Australia.