A host of selection camps around the country are in the process of being held to select this year’s Hockeyroos squad.
The ongoing COVID-19 situation in every state and territory, coupled with the current border conditions in Western Australia where the Hockey Australia High Performance Unit is based, has added layers of complexity to selection of athletes for the 2022 National Women’s High Performance Program.
The cancellation of last year’s Sultana Bran Hockey One League, which would have been held in October/November, also meant there have been minimal opportunities for the National Women’s Squad Selection Panel to assess players vying to be considered.
After being announced as permanent Hockeyroos Head Coach in November last year, Katrina Powell is yet to relocate to Perth, instead remaining in Sydney.
She was due to head west when Western Australia was initially going to open up on 5 February, but the two-time Commonwealth Games medallist and dual Olympic gold medallist will now use the coming weeks to attend selection camps in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
Meanwhile, a selection camp in Perth is currently taking place under the watchful eyes of selector Ric Charlesworth and Hockeyroos Assistant Coaches Katie Allen and Jeremy Davy.
Charlesworth will also be in attendance at the three east coast camps.
The Hockeyroos squad is expected to be announced later this month.
“There have been a number of challenges and hurdles in attempting to gather athletes together in one location,” Powell said..
“By holding a selection camp in Perth and then inviting the best hockey talent in the rest of the country to camps on the eastern seaboard importantly allows the athletes an opportunity to perform and show their ability on the pitch.”
“Any squad selection is tough and we are glad that we have been able to arrange these camps and make decisions on who will be in the national squad.
“In saying that, I want to strongly emphasise that any athletes who do not get selected can still represent the Hockeyroos from outside the program. This is important for athletes who may be on the fringe of breaking into the Hockeyroos team.”
“We want to expand our talent pool of elite female hockey players and will be making every effort to staying engaged with a larger group than solely the ones who are announced.”
With Commonwealth Games gold medallists Edwina Bone, Emily Chalker and Rachael Lynch, along with veteran goalkeeper Ashlee Wells all recently retiring, it hints towards a regeneration of sorts as Powell plots a team to be building towards the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and at its peak for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
But in the more immediate term, the Hockeyroos have the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup from 1-17 July followed by the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham from 28 July – 8 August to look forward to later this year.
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With thanks Hockey Australia.