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Rediff.com  » Sports » Australia squad for hockey World Cup

Australia squad for hockey World Cup

February 08, 2010 12:22 IST

Runners-up in the last two editions, Australia announced their 18-member squad for the hockey World Cup, in New Delhi from February 28 to March 13.

Coached by Ric Charlesworth, former technical consultant of the Indian hockey team, the Aussies are aiming to end a 24-year wait for a World Cup title.

The squad is almost the same that won the Champions Trophy in Melbourne late last year.

"In what can be considered an unexpected selection, 21-year-old striker Kieran Govers has been selected in the squad," Hockey Australia said.

Still only a member of the national development squad, Govers made his national debut only 12 days ago during a recent three-Test series against Korea in Hobart.

The other strikers in the squad include Des Abbott, Grant Schubert and Glenn Turner. Jamie Dwyer and Eddie Ockenden will spearhead the midfield.

Defender and 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Kiel Brown returned to the team after missing selection for the Champions Trophy.

From the 2009 Champions Trophy squad, Brent Dancer and Brent Livermore were omitted. Livermore, who missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to injury, is only five games away from breaking Jay Stacy's games record of 321.

Charlesworth said that while the Kookaburras will enter the World Cup as one of the favourites, Australia is just one of several countries who can win.

"I believe there is at least half a dozen teams who are capable of winning. Although we will be one of the favourites, the only pressure we will have is the internal pressure we put on ourselves to play well. This tournament is a big event; it will be very exciting and a new experience for a lot of them to play in India for the first time," he said.

In preparation for the World Cup, the Kookaburras will play a two-Test series against New Zealand in Perth from February 17-19.

The squad: Des Abbott, George Bazeley, Graeme Begbie, Kiel Brown, Nathan Burgers, Matthew Butturini, Liam De Young, Luke Doerner, Jamie Dwyer, Kieran Govers, Rob Hammond, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Grant Schubert, Matthew Swann, Glenn Turner.