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Kookaburras squad for 2022 finalised with four new additions

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The Kookaburras squad has been finalised for the 2022 campaign with sights set on the side’s seventh straight Commonwealth Games gold medal.

 

Three of Australia’s best emerging hockey talent plus an experienced representative goalkeeper have been announced as the final four additions to the 2022 Kookaburras squad.

Livewire Victorian 19-year striker old Craig Marais, 20 year old attacking midfielder Ky Willott, Western Australian defender James Collins and experienced goalkeeper Ben Rennie complete the Kookaburras’ 27-player roster.

Having initially announced a strong and experienced squad of 23 players in November last year, Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch believes now is an ideal time to include three athletes from the national junior program who have been identified across the pathways network as the best upcoming prospects.

Marais and Willott were both part of the Australia A team that competed in a series of matches against the Kookaburras in Darwin prior to last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

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

“Both Ky Willott and Craig Marais impressed in the Sultana Bran Hockey One League at the end of 2019. Both came out of the national junior program and have had really good development in their home states,” Batch 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 is similar in that he has been to the national junior camps and performed well.

“He 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.”

“Ben Rennie 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.”

 

 

With the majority of the squad already in place, the Kookaburras selection panel took their time to assess who would best complement the program with a focus towards this year’s Commonwealth Games and also the longer term objective of going one better at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

“We spent more time on these four selections to make sure we get them right and we believe we have,” said Batch.

“It is only the start for these players so we want them to not only develop themselves but really push the squad and put their hand up for selection when the international matches do come around.

“The injection of these four new players will bring a different energy to the group. They certainly change the dynamics and the enthusiasm they bring will rub off on the rest of the squad.”

Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles congratulated the quartet on their selection, particularly given how tough it has proven to crack into the Kookaburras squad.

“Through their on field success, pursuit of excellence and the culture that Colin, his support staff and the athletes have built and instilled in the program, the Kookaburras are one of Australia’s most revered national teams for good reason,” said Pryles.

“To see three youthful talented athletes added to the squad gives a glimpse of the Kookaburras’ bright future and highlights the development being made in our national pathways program.”

“The selection of Ben Rennie who has predominantly an Indoor hockey background demonstrates what is possible and shows the high calibre of Australian hockey in all forms of the game.”

“We look forward to watching their progress over the course of the year which includes the Commonwealth Games and FIH Pro League before the Men’s World Cup in January 2023.”

Kookaburras 2022 Squad

Name Date of Birth Hometown, State Caps (Goals)
Jacob Anderson 22/03/1997 Mackay, QLD 23 (9)
Daniel Beale 12/02/1993 Brisbane, QLD 191 (30)
Josh Beltz 24/04/1995 Hobart, TAS 53 (4)
Tim Brand 29/11/1998 Chatswood, NSW 53 (23)
Andrew Charter (gk) 30/03/1987 Canberra, ACT 193 (0)
James Collins 25/02/2000 Perth, WA -
Tom Craig 3/09/1995 Lane Cove, NSW 102 (30)
Matthew Dawson 27/04/1994 Killarney Vale, NSW 154 (12)
Johan Durst (gk) 18/03/1991 Melbourne, VIC 3 (0)
Nathan Ephraums 9/06/1999 Keysborough, VIC 8 (4)
Blake Govers 6/07/1996 Wollongong, NSW 111 (96)
Jake Harvie 5/03/1998 Dardanup, WA 70 (3)
Jeremy Hayward 3/03/1993 Darwin, NT 170 (72)
Tim Howard 23/06/1996 Wakerley, QLD 74 (1)
Craig Marais 28/05/2002 Brighton East, VIC -
Dylan Martin 12/01/1998 Wagga Wagga, NSW 13 (0)
Eddie Ockenden 3/04/1987 Hobart, TAS 380 (71)
Flynn Ogilvie 17/09/1993 Wollongong, NSW 123 (23)
Ben Rennie 28/09/1990 Perth, WA -
Lachlan Sharp 2/07/1997 Lithgow, NSW 60 (13)
Josh Simmonds 4/10/1995 Melbourne, VIC 32 (1)
Jack Welch 26/10/1997 Hobart, TAS 9 (3)
Corey Weyer 28/03/1996 Biggera Waters, QLD 43 (3)
Jake Whetton 15/06/1991 Brisbane, QLD 217 (65)
Tom Wickham 26/05/1990 Perth, WA 66 (32)
Ky Willott 15/03/2001 Newcastle, NSW -
Aran Zalewski 21/03/1991 Margaret River, WA 201 (26)

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