INTERNATIONAL sport will head to the suburbs as WA hosts five hockey test matches between the Australian women’s team and Spain.
The fourth-ranked Hockeyroos will face world number 11 Spain twice each at Guildford Grammar and Warwick Hockey Stadium, as well as a match at the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Australia’s 83-cap stalwart and WA product Kathryn Slattery said the test match would be great preparation ahead of April’s Commonwealth Games.
“I think it’s a really great opportunity, it’s obviously kick starting our year off and next year is such an important year with the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup, so to get the whole squad back together and to be able to have some really great international matches will be a really good step forward,” she said.
“It will be a really tough challenge, it’s going to be hot in Perth and we’ll definitely be trying to find those connections again after a little bit of time apart as a group, but I think that’s also a really good thing to be focusing on and moving towards.”
She said they were fortunate to have so many good turfs in WA to play on and she was looking forward to taking the game to the suburbs.
“To get out into those areas which don’t very often get that high level hockey is a really positive thing,” she said.
“I’ve definitely been out to the Guildford turf a couple of times and the turf is really nice there, they’ve got a great facility and I’m pretty excited about how it’s all going to shape up.
“To be able to incorporate so many different people and get some of the younger and future generations to come down and be able to watch these great test matches is really great.”
Whitford Hockey Club calls Warwick Hockey Centre home and club president Len Collier said their new state-of-the-art facility was a perfect place to host an international match.
“To be able to host two international games in our first year is a fantastic opportunity for Whitford Hockey Club and it isn’t often that international games in Perth are held outside of Perth Hockey Stadium,” he said.
“Any other sport would charge a lot of money to watch two world class International teams compete at the highest level so this is an amazing opportunity to witness the speed, skill and excitement of the game for a very cheap price.”
The Australian men’s team will also host a four-match test series against the Netherlands in Perth and Narrogin during January and February.
Australia v Spain dates
Guildford Grammar: January 15 and 16
Warwick Hockey Centre: January 18 and 21
Perth Hockey Stadium: January 20
More information at www.hockey.org.au