Australia coach Paul Gaudoin says the sky is the limit for the Hockeyroos ahead of the 2018 Women’s World Cup in London where they enter as the world’s fifth ranked side.
The Hockeyroos are in Pool D for the quadrennial tournament alongside New Zealand, Japan and Belgium.
Australia’s campaign begins against Japan on Sunday 5am AEST with all Hockeyroos’ matches live on FOX SPORTS.
The Hockeyroos finished as runners-up in the 2014 World Cup but have undergone serious change since then, with only six players remaining from the team from four years ago.
Gaudoin has taken over from then-coach Adam Commens, with fresh generation of young players coming through, but he’s still aiming high.
“We’re going there to win it,” Gaudoin said.
“We know that’s a mighty challenge. We think there’s some very good teams at the World Cup and it’s a different format in four-by-four pools, so anything can happen.
“Coming with that is the opportunity for us to go deep into this tournament.
“We want to win every game we play. We don’t get to build into the tournament. We’re looking forward to our first game against Japan.”
Gaudoin acknowledged getting off to a winning start against 11th ranked Japan would be important for the Hockeyroos given the format.
“We know how important that is,” Gaudoin said. “It’s almost a six-point game with a pool of four.
“We know how important that is to get started. We’re very optimistic.
“We’ve had a good block of training. We’ve been able to get some players playing together who’ve been injured for a period of time.
“Who knows? We want to set our sights high.”
Australia played both Japan and New Zealand in May’s Tri-Nations tournament in Queenstown, coming out as the winners with a 4-1 triumph in the final against the Black Sticks.
Gaudoin was enthused by that victory but said it wouldn’t count for much in London against the same opponents.
“Probably not as much as people think,” he said.
“We all had different teams there, were trying some different things out and weren’t showing all our cards.
“At the same time, I feel confident we can get wins against both of those teams.
“Whilst we haven’t played Belgium since mid-last year, we’re confident we can get the job done.”
The World Cup will be broadcast by FOX SPORTS. Follow @Hockeyroos on Twitter for live commentary too.
Author: Alexie Beovich/Wednesday, 18 July 2018/World Sport Pics