After missing out on Hockeyroos selection after the Olympic games last year, Parkes product Mariah Williams is back in favour with national selectors – in a big way.
Williams missed out on selection in the Trans-Tasman series last November – she was away captaining Australia’s successful Junior World Cup side – but has been named in the Australian women’s team to contest the World League semi-final in Brussels, Belgium from June 21, continuing her run in the nation’s top side after a stellar Hawkes Bay tournament.
The semi-final, which not only acts as a qualifying event for the World League final but also for the 2018 World Cup, will see an 18-strong team head over to Europe to compete against seven other countries in a bid to qualify for both events.
Included in the team for the first time is Georgia Wilson (WA) who will make her senior international debut in the green and gold; while Jocelyn Bartram and Madison Fitzpatrick have been included in the team to widen their exposure at an international level following impressive work in training.
Georgie Morgan and Karri McMahon will return to the team for the first time in 2017 – Morgan returning from a short period out with a niggling foot injury, while McMahon returns following rehabilitation from knee surgery which took place at the end of September.
“The team we have taking part in the World League Semi-Final sees the return of some senior players who have been out of the squad so far this year due to injury,” Hockeyroos head coach Paul Gaudoin said.
“Their return will add some depth to our defensive line, and along with the debut of Georgia Wilson we should see some interesting new dynamics within the team.
“We’ll be looking to implement some of the learnings we made from the Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand earlier this year, and having a couple of practice matches in Holland prior to the Semi-Final should ensure we’re match ready.”
If the Hockeyroos place in the top three at the World League semi-final they will automatically qualify for the World League final which will take place in Auckland in November, while if they finish in the top five they will automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup which will take place in London next July.
The Hockeyroos will head over to Europe on Sunday, June 11 where they will take part in a two-game practice test against Holland prior to the World League semi-final in Belgium.
Hockeyroos World League semi-final team: Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW), Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW) *plays for ACT, Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA), Jacqui Day (Mountain Creek, QLD), Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW) *plays for QLD, Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, QLD) Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD), Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC), Karri McMahon (Berri, SA), Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW), Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, NSW) *plays for SA, Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC), Madeleine Ratcliffe (Warnambool, VIC), Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA), Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW), Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD), Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW), Georgia Wilson (Mahogany Creek, WA).