Mollymook’s Kalindi Commerford has been named in the Hockey Australia 18-member Hockeyroos team to compete at the last ever FIH Champions Trophy in China.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
While it was celebrations for Commerford, who now plays for the ACT, it was disappointment for Gerringong’s Grace Stewart who was left out of the team.
Third-ranked Australia will come up against hosts China (ranked 11th), defending champions Argentina (fourth), Olympic champions Great Britain (England ranked second), world number one Netherlands and the invited Japan (14th).
The Champions Trophy has run since 1978 and will be held from November 17-25 in Changzhou, China, the last-ever edition of the event before next year’s introduction of the new FIH Pro League.
Cummerford completed a successful final Australian Hockey League (AHL) campaign last weekend with the Canberra Strikers finishing with a bronze medal - defeating the Victorian Vipers in a penalty shootout, after the game ended 4-all.
It’s been a big year for Commerford who helped the Hockeyroos start strongly at the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup, beating Japan 3-2 and drawing against Belgium nil-all, before a grade two hamstring tear in the side’s 1-all draw with New Zealand, eventually ruled her out of the tournament.
The Hockeyroos finished fourth at the World Cup in July and were last in action in the Japan Four Nations in September.
There has been several changes from that team, including the returns of forward Emily Smith, goalkeeper Rachael Lynch, midfielder Brooke Peris and experienced defenders Karri McMahon and Jodie Kenny.
Three uncapped players are included in Queensland’s Rebecca Greiner, NSW’s Greta Hayes and WA’s Penny Squibb.
Hockeyroos head coach Paul Gaudoin said the side wants to win but also has an eye on the Tokyo Olympics and developing our athlete cohort.
“We want to identify the right athletes who’ll help us prepare for 2020, so we’ve taken the opportunity to expose some new athletes to the international arena, but we still have some core athletes,” he said.
“Among the new additions are those who’ve had some good form in the AHL and those who we’ve been keeping an eye on for a fair period of time.”
Bundaberg forward Greiner, 19, comes into the team after finishing as equal top scorer at the AHL. She was previously called up for the Japan Four Nations but had to withdraw due to injury.
Hayes, who plays her club Hockey for Sydney University, is a dynamic midfielder. The 21-year-old was a key part of the NSW Arrows side which lifted the AHL title on Sunday.
Squibb, who hails from Tambellup in WA’s Great Southern region, comes from the National Development Squad and is a 25-year-old defender who offers a goal threat from penalty corners. She impressed in the 2018 AHL with WA with five goals and was last year’s joint top scorer.
Australia are six-time champions and five-time runners-up but haven’t won the title since 2003.
“We’re certainly looking at taking a team to China that can win the Champions Trophy,” Gaudoin said.
“But we are also looking to finalise our 2019 National Squads. We need to keep evolving and developing our athlete cohort.”
The Hockeyroos will fly to China on Monday (November 12) ahead of their opening game against Argentina on November 17 from 7pm (AEDT).
The Hockeyroos’ 18-member Champions Trophy team: Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT, Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC, Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA), Kalindi Commerford (Mollymook, NSW) *Plays for ACT, Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD, Rebecca Greiner (Bundaberg, QLD), Greta Hayes (Sydney, NSW), Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD), Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD), Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC), Karri McMahon (Berri, SA), Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD), Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW), Hayley Padget (Doncaster, VIC), Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT), Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW), Penny Squibb (Tambellup, WA), Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) *Plays for SA.
Hockeyroos 2018 Champions Trophy schedule (all times AEDT) - Saturday, November 17 7pm – Australia v Argentina; Sunday, November 18 5pm – Australia v Great Britain; Tuesday, November 20 5pm – Australia v Netherlands; Thursday, November 22 7pm – Australia v China; Saturday, November 24 5pm – Australia v Japan; Sunday, November 25 – Finals.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.