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Get in Line or Get Out selection for Hockey Australia

Paul Gaudoin and Hockey Australia announce their squad for 2021.

To say there are some big shocks is an understatement.

As reported by Simon Orchard in edition 17th of Hockey World News (Edition 17), the squad has been reduced to premature retirements, leadership spills, and enough bitching and backstabbing to make contestants in the Bachelor mansion look like members of the Brady Bunch. Overwhelming dissatisfaction with the direction and purpose of this group coupled with a mixture of overzealous coaches, a lacklustre governing body, and poor leadership – on and off the field – the Hockeyroos have had an inevitable fall from grace.  

Some changes were needed, or as the HA press release says, a ‘renewed focus towards an injection of young blood into the Hockeyroos fold’. Now with this new announcement and the notable absence of Rachel Lynch, the Worlds No.1 Goalkeeper, along with influential stars Georgie Morgan and Karri McMahon, the Hockeyroos have weakened their squad somewhat in what is viewed by the media as a ‘get in line or get out’ selection phase.

2019WVWC2 2678
Amsterdam, Nederland – Australie, Hockey, Dames, FIH Pro League, FIH Pro League Grand Finals, Finale, Seizoen 2018-2019, 29-06-2019, Nederland – Australie 2-2, Nederland wint na shootouts, goalkeeper Rachael Lynch (Austr.)

If the decision has been taken by CEO Matt Favier, High-Performance Director Toni Cumpston or Head Coach Paul Gaudoin, the fact that they have chosen a squad for the next Olympic cycle (Paris 2024) is indicative of the decision.

Several players at the height of their powers have either walked or been forced out. Anna Flanagan, Kathryn Slattery, Madi Ratcliffe, Gabi Nance, Jade Warrender and Georgie Parker, to name a few. And some – after reflection – are happy that they are well away from the world they simply did not love. Nance even came back but left again. You might say that one walkout is a lightning strike – but two are more likely to be an indictment on the programme.  

Now add to that list, Lynch, Morgan and McMahon, and you’ve got a line up that would be a challenge to World Honors in their own right.

A common denominator among the group above is they all speak their minds and are strong-willed. They weren’t ready to settle for mediocrity or a sub-par environment – and made their thoughts and feelings well known in the hope of improving conditions in the team.

Only time will tell if this latest announcement and squad selection is the right move or a selection policy that will come back to haunt Gaudoin in Tokyo.

Australia Women 2021 squad in full:

NameDate of BirthHometown, StateCaps (Goals)
Laura Barden9/06/1994Kew, VIC44 (5)
Jocelyn Bartram (gk)4/05/1993Albury, NSW51 (0)
Edwina Bone24/04/1988Orange, NSW202 (5)
Emily Chalker28/07/1992Crookwell, NSW244 (82)
Jane Claxton26/10/1992Adelaide, SA182 (18)
Kalindi Commerford18/11/1994Ulladulla, ACT50 (8)
Madison Fitzpatrick14/12/1996Cabarita Beach, QLD75 (16)
Greta Hayes17/10/1996Sydney, NSW9 (0)
Kate Jenner5/05/1990Mudgee, NSW127 (1)
Stephanie Kershaw19/04/1995Townsville, QLD64 (7)
Amy Lawton19/01/2002Emerald, VIC14 (3)
Rosie Malone8/01/1998Burleigh, QLD51 (11)
Kaitlin Nobbs24/09/1997Newington, NSW82 (4)
Meg Pearce1/07/1994Camp Hill, QLD
Brooke Peris16/01/1993Darwin, NT171 (26)
Aleisha Power (gk)1/01/1997Northam, WA3 (0)
Courtney Schonell17/09/2000Campbelltown, NSW
Karri Somerville7/04/1999Kensington, WA2 (0)
Penny Squibb9/02/1993Tambellup, WA10 (1)
Grace Stewart24/04/1997Gerringong, NSW86 (25)
Renee Taylor28/09/1996Everton Park, QLD82 (8)
Sophie Taylor12/09/1995Melbourne, VIC34 (1)
Ashlee Wells (gk)1/08/1989Morwell, VIC121 (0)
Mariah Williams31/05/1995Parkes, NSW83 (15)
Georgia Wilson20/05/1996Mahogany Creek, WA38 (0)

*two more athletes are to be added

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