Australia name 16-member women’s hockey squad for CWG

Friday, September 17, 2010

MELBOURNE - Defending champions Australia Friday announced a 16-member women’s hockey squad for the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

The Australian woman’s team have an enviable Commonwealth Games record, having lost just one match and won two of the three gold medals on offer since 1998.

Eleven of the 16 players selected will make their Commonwealth Games debut, while Nicole Arrold, Madonna Blyth, Kate Hollywood, Toni Cronk and Kobie McGurk all competed in the last Commonwealth Games held here in 2006.

They have been grouped with India, South Africa, Scotland and Trinidad and Tobago in the 10-team tournament. Australia open their account against Trinidad and Tobago at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, Oct 5.

The team finished fifth at the recent World Cup in Argentina, and a strong performances from the likes of Jayde Taylor and Kate Jenner, who only made their international debuts three months ago, have seen them retain their place in the squad.

The retirements of Hope Munro and Kim Walker, and an Achilles heel injury to Teneal Attard created an opportunity for some younger players such as Fiona Boyce and Emily Hurtz to enter the team.

Coach Frank Murray said that Australia are capable of retaining their gold, but said that his girls will face some tough competition from England, New Zealand and India.

“We are one of four teams who are in with a chance to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. India at home will be difficult and New Zealand are also very capable, while England having won bronze at the World Cup only days ago makes them a real threat,” Murray said.

Murray said this year appeared to be the most even competition for the Commonwealth Games in its history.

“We will be fighting it out with some very good teams. This is the most even Commonwealth Games competition we will be part of so we will need to play our best hockey,” he said.

Australian Commonwealth Games Association (AGCA) chief executive officer Perry Crosswhite said: “We are very much looking forward to the performance of our 2010 women’s hockey team. They have had excellent international competition experience leading into the Delhi tournament and we have high hopes they will end up on top.”

The team: Nicole Arrold (ACT), Madonna Blyth (QLD), Fiona Boyce (WA), Alison Bruce (NSW), Toni Cronk (NSW), Casey Eastham (NSW), Kate Hollywood (NSW), Emily Hurtz (NSW), Kate Jenner (NSW), Fiona Johnson (NSW), Shelly Liddelow (WA), Rachael Lynch (VIC), Kobie McGurk (WA), Ashleigh Nelson (WA), Megan Rivers (NSW), Jayde Taylor (WA)

Filed under: Commonwealth Games, Hockey

will not be displayed