HOCKEY Australia announced on Monday the 18-member Hockeyroos team, featuring Gerringong’s Grace Stewart, which will compete at next month’s Four Nations Women's Ibaraki International Tournament in Japan.
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Third-ranked Australia, who will be without the services of the injured Kalindi Commerford (Mollymook), will come up against South Korea (10th), United States (12th) and hosts Japan (14th) in the event which runs from September 12-16 at the OIC Field at the Ritsumeikan University Osaka Ibaraki Campus.
South Korea have replaced Argentina, following their withdrawal from the Four Nations last week.
The event gives the Hockeyroos a taste of Japanese conditions with less than two years until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
From the team which competed at the 2018 Women’s World Cup in London and finished fourth, there are numerous changes, including opportunities for uncapped trio Hayley Padget, Sophie Taylor and Rebecca Greiner.
Melbourne-based midfielder Padget, 25, and defender Taylor, 22, are both part of the national development squad, while Bundaberg forward Greiner, 19, comes from the National Junior Squad.
Blackbutt midfielder Mikaela Patterson, 21, is the other team member from outside the national senior squad although she debuted against Japan in Adelaide last November.
“It’s exciting to provide this opportunity to some new faces at an international level and expose the Hockeyroos to Japanese conditions within two years of the Tokyo Olympics,” Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said.
“On the additions from outside the national senior squad, Rebecca’s performance at the National Under 21 Championships and her performances in her local daily training environment has brought her to the attention of the national selectors.
“Hayley, Sophie and Mikaela had all been in Perth on visiting athlete agreement scholarships prior to the World Cup and earlier in the year and performed well.
“That combined with their performances in their daily training environments has warranted their respective call-ups.”
Jane Claxton returns following a hamstring injury, while goalkeeper Ashlee Wells and defender Ashlea Fey are also included after missing World Cup selection.
Several senior members from the World Cup team have been omitted, with Gaudoin eager to explore his playing options.
The Hockeyroos team is due to fly to Japan on Thursday, September 6, ahead of their opening match of the Four Nations against Japan on Wednesday, Septemberm 12.
The group will also spend a day in Tokyo where they will visit the Hockey facilities for the 2020 Olympics.
Hockeyroos squad: Jocelyn Bartram, Kristina Bates, Edwina Bone, Lily Brazel, Jane Claxton, Ashlea Fey, Madison Fitzpatrick, Savannah Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Greiner, Stephanie Kershaw, Ambrosia Malone, Georgina Morgan, Hayley Padget, Mikaela Patterson, Grace Stewart, Sophie Taylor, Renee Taylor and Ashlee Wells.
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