WITH a World Cup on the horizon the Hockeyroos will be striving for unpredictability during their Tri Nations series against New Zealand and Japan.
The fifth-ranked Australians, fresh from silver at April’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, will play four round-robin fixtures and finals across the week-long meet, with their first match on Sunday.
Coach Paul Gaudoin said it would be crucial preparation for the 2018 World Cup in London in July and August.
There they will be pooled with Commonwealth Games champions and world number 4 New Zealand, Japan (12th) and Belgium (13th).
“We want to ensure we’re still unpredictable when we get to the World Cup,” Gaudoin said.
“We also want to use this tournament as an opportunity to individually develop some players.
“We want to make sure we’re working on creating and scoring more goals.
“Our defence was solid at the Commonwealth Games but we need to find ways to create more chances and finish those chances.”
National selectors made six changes from the Commonwealth Games team, with Kristina Bates, Lily Brazel, Kalindi Commerford, Madison Fitzpatrick, Kathryn Slattery and Ashlee Wells coming into the squad.
Gaudoin said Australia would use the Tri Series hit-outs in Cromwell, New Zealand to give game time to the squad’s fresh faces and allow management to weigh up options moving forward.
“We weren’t able to get the result we wanted at the Commonwealth Games in the end and we want to give some players an opportunity to show what they can do,” he said.
“We think we can get some better knowledge and information for when we select the final group for the World Cup.”
– Tri Nations Women’s International Hockey Schedule (all times AEST) –
12.30pm Sunday, May 20: New Zealand vs Australia
4.30pm Monday, May 21: Australia vs Japan
4.30pm Wednesday, May 23: New Zealand vs Australia
4.30pm Thursday, May 24: Australia vs Japan
2.30pm Saturday, May 26: Playoff for final (2nd vs 3rd)
12.30pm Sunday, May 27: Final
– Hockeyroos squad –
Kristina Bates (Mont Albert, VIC)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Kalindi Commerford (Mollymook, NSW) *Plays for ACT
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *Plays for QLD
Emily Hurtz (Sydney, NSW) *Plays for VIC
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD)
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (c) (Crookwell, NSW)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC)