Victoria Park: Hockey teen Renee Rockliff earns call-up for Australia

Renee Rockliff (19) of Victoria Park has been selected for Australia's under-23 development squad to play in China. Picture: David Baylis
Renee Rockliff (19) of Victoria Park has been selected for Australia's under-23 development squad to play in China. Picture: David Baylis

VICTORIA Park Xavier hockey player Renee Rockliff said she shed a tear during a university lecture when she found out she had been selected to play for her country.

The 19-year-old midfielder has been named in an Australian under-23 development team that will compete in Changzhou, China in early November.

Rockliff, who lives in Victoria Park and studies physiotherapy at Notre Dame, said she was shocked to get her first national call-up.

“I didn’t see it coming,” she said.

The Australian side will play China, Great Britain, Germany and Chinese national champions Jiangsu across six matches in what Hockey Australia described as a development opportunity for players hoping to be part of the national squad for Olympic qualification, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and the next Olympic cycle.

Despite the exciting news Rockliff said she hadn’t given much further thought to the international competition as she was focused on preparing for the Australian Hockey League, which takes place throughout October.

WA players Annie Gibbs, Pippa Morgan, Candyce Peacock, Aleisha Power and Shanea Tonkin are also part of the squad travelling to China.

Australia’s first game will be against the host country on November 3.