Hockeyroos captain Emily Smith says the upcoming five-match Test series against Spain is “very important” as the group vies for spots for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
Australia will meet world number 11 Spain from 15-21 January as part of the Hockeyroos’ current training camp which got underway on Monday.
The Hockeyroos are building for the Commonwealth Games in April, where they will target their fourth straight gold medal.
“It’s very important. This year has come around very quick,” Crookwell product Smith said.
“The Comm Games is starting in April, so that’ll be upon us very quickly. We have some quality games against Spain, which will set us up.”
The 2018 Senior National Women’s Squad was named in December with two spots still available and open to four players in Laura Barden, Kalindi Commerford, Ambrosia Malone and Jodie Kenny.
In addition, coach Paul Gaudoin is narrowing his focus on the final 18-member team for the Commonwealth Games, ensuring the training camp and matches will be intense with players desperate to impress.
“We’ve got a few extras over vying for a last two spots in our squad,” Smith said.
“It’s going to be a very competitive few weeks. There’s a lot of pressure on everyone to put their best foot forward for Comm Games selection.”
Hockeyroos captain Emily Smith says the upcoming five-match Test series against Spain is “very important” as the group vies for spots for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Australia will meet world number 11 Spain from 15-21… https://t.co/op58rU8KhG #HockeyAustralia pic.twitter.com/Y9PsnWOrQ8
— Hockey World News (@hockeyWrldNws) January 11, 2018
The squad only returned to full training in Perth on Monday, following a leave period where several players returned home.
“We were fortunate enough to have a decentralised program, so a lot of girls went back to their home states,” Smith said.
“We still did conditioning, gym and some stick and ball, but not as intense as the daily training environment. We’ve all been smashing ourselves to get ready.”
World number five Australia haven’t played the Spanish since June’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Belgium and Smith acknowledged they represented a bit of the unknown.
“They’re a very skilful team. A little unknown as we don’t play them that often,” Smith said.
“They’re outside the top 10, so we don’t always play them at the major tournaments.
“Seeing them in the past, they’re very skilful and don’t give up, so we’ll need to fight for the whole game.”
Hey WA hockey fans!! Don’t miss your chance to see the Hockeyroos this month vs Spain in the #AUSvESP Test series ahead of the @GC2018!!!
Tix via https://t.co/SvzgcbFzDG #Roovolution pic.twitter.com/M1Jy6Mfboy
— Hockeyroos (@Hockeyroos) January 11, 2018
Australia v Spain Test Series #AUSvESP
Guildford Grammar Turf: 15 & 16 January (6:30pm WST) – ticket link
Warwick Hockey Centre: 18 & 21 January (6:30pm WST) – ticket link
Perth Hockey Stadium: 20 January (6:30pm WST) – tickets available at the gate
Tickets from $5
Author: Ben Somerford/Thursday, 11 January 2018/ Categories: Hockey Australia News, Hockeyroos, Commonwealth Games