25 of Australia’s best young hockey players have been given an extra incentive on the eve of the 2009 Australian Hockey League, with Hockey Australia announcing their men’s 2009 Junior World Cup squad.
Overall 25 players have been selected in the squad, however that number will be reduced to 18-20 before Australia depart of the 2009 Junior World Cup which will be held in Singapore and Malaysia from 7-21 June.
The players will be given an opportunity to impress selectors at the upcoming 2009 Australian Hockey League competition, with round one for the men to begin on Friday 6 March and conclude during a finals week in Hobart from 6-12 April.
Concluding the AHL, the players will be put through their final paces during an intensive training and selection camp in Darwin from 23 April-1 May, allowing them an opportunity to acclimatize to the humidity expected throughout the Junior World Cup.
“The Kookaburras played a tournament against China, India and Korea in Darwin prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics and it provided them with a good example of the weather conditions they were expected to face at the Beijing Olympics, so we expect to achieve something similar with our camp in Darwin,” said National men’s junior coach Jason Duff.
While the squad has three debutants in David Collins, Todd Devlin and Travis Taylor, the remainder players have recently gained much needed experience through the 2009 Junior World Cup Qualifier against New Zealand in late 2008.
Furthermore, several players in the squad were part of Australian gold medal winning Australian Youth Olympic Festival squad who competed recently in Sydney.
“Although the players are young, they have been well prepared and know what it takes to compete at a world level,” said Duff.
Team Australia: Todd Devlin, Justin Ellis, Leon Hayward, Adrian Lockley, Jonathon Peris, Hamish McGregor, Malcolm Kemp, Aaron Kleinschmidt, Josh Pollard, Travis Taylor, Chris Bausor, Trent Mitton, Matthew Boyce, Michael Bates, Tim Bates, Matthew Swann, Peter Dillon, Scott Richards, Kris Glass, Matthew Ghodes, Josh White, Tristain White, David Collins, Kieran Govers, Scott Garner.
Source: Hockey Australia