New Kookaburras coach Graham Reid has picked five uncapped players in his national men’s hockey squad as he builds depth for the Rio Olympics.
New head coach Graham Reid has included five uncapped players in his first national men’s hockey squad as world champions Australia prepare for the Champions Trophy in India in December.
With the 2016 Rio Olympics as his major target, Reid, who has succeeded Ric Charlesworth, is out to add even greater depth to the talent pool for the Kookaburras who have already won both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games titles this year.
The uncapped quintet in the 27-man squad are Northern Territory goalkeeper Leon Hayward, NSW trio Matthew Dawson, Tom Craig and Flynn Ogilvie and Queenslander Dylan Wotherspoon
Hayward, 24, the older brother of Kookaburras defender Jeremy Hayward, was named goalkeeper of the tournament at national league tournament in Adelaide at the weekend.
Dawson, Ogilvie and Wotherspoon were all part of the Australian Under-21 team at the 2013 Junior World Cup.
The squad contains 12 members of Australia’s World Cup winning team and four – Daniel Beale, Kiel Brown, Trent Mitton and Tristan White – that came in for the Commonwealth Games a month later.
Russell Ford and Glenn Simpson both return after injury having been ruled out of the World Cup campaign at the 11th hour.
There are also some very big names missing due to injury.
Five-times world player of the year Jamie Dwyer was ruled out of the national league and national selection by a foot ligament injury at the end of the club season, captain Mark Knowles is undergoing rehabilitation for a foot injury, as is Joel Carroll, while Kieran Govers is recovering from hip surgery and Matthew Butturini is rehabilitating from a knee injury.
Reid will select from the squad when the Kookaburras play Commonwealth Games silver medallists India in a series of matches in Perth at the start of November before choosing his 18-man Champions Trophy squad.
Australian squad: Daniel Beale, Craig Boyne, Kiel Brown, Nick Budgeon, Andrew Charter, Chris Ciriello, Tom Craig, Matthew Dawson, Tim Deavin, Jeremy Edwards, Russell Ford, Matt Gohdes, Jeremy Hayward, Leon Hayward, Fergus Kavanagh, Tyler Lovell, Trent Mitton, Eddie Ockenden, Flynn Ogilvie, Simon Orchard, Glenn Simpson, Matthew Swann, Jake Whetton, Tristan White, Matthew Willis, Dylan Wotherspoon, Aran Zalewski.