Kookaburras coach gives players chance to shine
HOCKEY: Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said a number of players will get the opportunity to stake a claim to make the side for the World League semi-finals later this year after announcing the sqaud for the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia later this month.
Eighteen players were named, including Eddie Ockenden and Dylan Wotherspoon, who both return from a stint playing in Europe.
Matt Swann will make his international comeback after recovering from a broken foot suffered in mid-2016 and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallists Andrew Charter and Andrew Philpott have also been named.
"The team we have selected for Azlan Shah is slightly different to the team who competed in Darwin (in last month's four-match series against Pakistan)," Batch said.
"The reason being that we would like to give as many players as possible the opportunity to show their ability at an international level before we make the team selection for the World League semi-finals.
"The players we have coming in are long standing Kookaburras, and we would like to see them play in the team structure that we have as a result of new players being selected to the 2017 squad.
"The Azlan Shah Cup is a competition which Australia has traditionally been invited to, and it provides good competition for us, so it will be interesting to see how our new look side fares against our opponents in the hot climate of Malaysia."