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2016 women’s Olympic Hockey squad annouced

18 December 2015

HOCKEY: Hockey Australia has announced a 26-athlete women’s national senior squad, the group of athletes that will prepare for the Olympic Games competition in Rio de Janeiro next August.

From the 26, 16 names will ultimately be submitted to the Australian Olympic Committee in July for nomination to the 2016 Australian Olympic Team.

Such has been the transformation of the senior national squad over the three and a half years since the London 2012 Olympic Games only eight of the 26 have previous experience at an Olympic Games, although 14 are Commonwealth Games gold medallists.

Of the eight Olympians, three – captain Madonna Blyth, Teneal Attard and Casey Sablowski (née Eastham) – are going for a hat-trick, having been part of the Australian teams in 2008 and 2012.

Following a year in which Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens has placed an emphasis on building depth and providing younger athletes with opportunities, five players have been elevated from the 2015 national development squad. Laura Barden, Kate Hanna, Stephanie Kershaw, Madison Fitzpatrick and Renee Taylor all made their debuts this year and make the move up for 2016.

Hanna and Taylor both debuted for Australia against China in Sydney in April with Taylor also selected for the recent World League Final in Rosario.

Barden, Fitzpatrick and Kershaw all made their senior international debuts for the Hockeyroos against Korea in Perth in September before going on to win Oceania Cup gold medals in October. Fitzpatrick was also a member of the Hockeyroos’ World League squad.

Stephanie Kershaw is currently recovering from knee surgery that will rule her out of contention for Rio 2016 but is expected to be part of the teams’ plans in the second half of the year.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said, “In 2015, we gave opportunities to some of our younger players in the lead-up to the Olympic year. Laura Barden, Kate Hanna, Stephanie Kershaw, Madison Fitzpatrick and Renee Taylor all debuted and made a good impression at high quality tournaments including the Hawke’s Bay Cup, Oceania Cup and World League.

“They have added depth to our group, which I think is in a really good place, but we must understand that collectively we need to make further improvements between now and the Olympic Games.

“The World League Final was a great experience for our younger group. It challenged them in pressure situations and I think the outcome of the quarter-final demonstrated our inexperience. We’re better for it, and it’s better that it happened now than at the Olympics. We’ll be stronger as a result.”

The squad will return to training in Perth in early January following the Christmas break before embarking on a training camp in Singapore, during which they will play matches against the Netherlands and Germany.

Test matches against Great Britain in Western Australia in February, the Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand in April, matches in Darwin – the details of which are yet to be announced – and, if Australia receives an invitation, the Champions Trophy in London in June, will form the basis of the Hockeyroos’ preparations for Rio.

Hockey Australia has also named its 17-athlete national development squad for 2016.

The list includes four players that will be awarded scholarships to train full time alongside the national senior squad in Perth. Jocelyn Bartram, Kaitlin Nobbs, Madi Ratcliffe and Grace Stewart will all gain valuable experience training alongside the senior squad. Nobbs, Ratcliffe and Stewart have been promoted from the national junior squad. Grace O’Hanlon, Sam Snow and Meg Pearce are also new to the development squad.

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2016 Women’s National Senior Squad
Name (Hometown) Previous Olympic Games
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 2008, 2012
Laura Barden (Kew, VIC)
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 2008, 2012
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) [QAS athlete]
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 2012
Kate Hanna (Constitution Hill, NSW)
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 2012
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD)
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW)
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) [SASI athlete]
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 2012
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 2012
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Casey Sablowski (South Coast, NSW) 2008, 2012
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 2012
Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD)
Ashlee Wells (Moe, VIC) (Unused ‘P’ accredited reserve athlete in 2012)
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW)
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW)

2016 Hockey Australia Scholarship Holders (in addition to above)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Madi Ratcliffe (Warrnambool, VIC)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)

2016 Hockey Australia Women’s National Development Squad
Murphy Allendorf (Mount Gravatt, QLD)
Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW)
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW)
Jacqui Day (Mountain Creek, QLD)
Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) [QAS athlete]
Kyra Flynn (Hillarys, NSW)
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, QLD)
Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW)
Grace O’Hanlon (Maryborough, QLD)
Hayley Padget (Hurstbridge, VIC)
Meg Pearce (Melbourne, VIC)
Madi Ratcliffe (Warrnambool, VIC)
Audrey Smith (Wynnum, QLD)
Sam Snow (Melbourne, VIC)
Amelia Spence (Hobart, TAS)
Penny Squibb (Tambellup, WA)
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW)

Hockey Australia

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