Hockeyroos select new-look side ahead of Champions Trophy

Crookwell local Emily Smith has been named in the Hockeyroos side for the last-ever Champions Trophy which will take place in China later this month. 

Slot the goal: Em Smith was in good touch at the AHL, and has been rewarded with selection for the Champions Trophy. Photo: Click InFocus.

Slot the goal: Em Smith was in good touch at the AHL, and has been rewarded with selection for the Champions Trophy. Photo: Click InFocus.

The Champions Trophy, which will be the last-ever edition of the event which has run since 1978 before next year’s introduction of the new FIH Pro League, runs from November 17 to November 25.

Three debutants were also named in the 18-member team, in Queensland’s Rebecca Greiner, NSW’s Greta Hayes and WA’s Penny Squibb.

Hockeyroos head coach Paul Gaudoin said: “We want to win but we’ve also got an eye on the Tokyo Olympics and developing our athlete cohort.

“Among the new additions are those who’ve had some good form in the AHL and those who we’ve been keeping an eye on for a fair period of time.”

Bundaberg forward Greiner, 19, comes into the team after finishing as equal top scorer at the Australian Hockey League (AHL) which concluded on Sunday.

Hayes, who plays her club Hockey for Sydney University, is a dynamic midfielder. The 21-year-old was a key part of the NSW Arrows side which lifted the AHL title.

Squibb, who hails from Tambellup in WA’s Great Southern region, comes from the National Development Squad and is a 25-year-old defender who offers a goal threat from penalty corners.

Squibb impressed in the 2018 AHL with WA with five goals.

“Rebecca has been developing nicely in her training environment in Queensland,” Gaudoin said.

“She played extremely well at the Under-21s and was the equal top scorer at the AHL. 

“Greta played at the Junior World Cup in 2016. She’s been in Belgium for a year and just got back a few months ago.

“She was in our Development Squad prior to that. She came in and had a wonderful AHL, she was very impressive, she’s a hard-working midfielder and we’re looking for those.

“Penny has been in our Development Squad for a couple of years. She’s been in our training environment a couple of times on a VAA scholarship.

“She’s performed very well in the AHL and we believe she deserves an opportunity to show what she can do at the next level.”

Australia are six-time champions and five-time runners-up but haven’t won the title since 2003.

“We’re certainly looking at taking a team to China that can win the Champions Trophy,” Gaudoin said.

“But we are also looking to finalise our 2019 National Squads. We need to keep evolving and developing our athlete cohort.”

Australia will open its campaign against Argentina on November 17. 

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