Hockeyroos turn to Williams, lean on Bone ahead of crunch Pro League fixtures

BACK IN ACTION: Mariah Williams is back in the national frame for the final leg of the Pro League. Photo: HOCKEY AUSTRALIA
BACK IN ACTION: Mariah Williams is back in the national frame for the final leg of the Pro League. Photo: HOCKEY AUSTRALIA

Parkes gun Mariah Williams will tour China and Europe in June as part of a Hockeyroos side determined to qualify for the inaugural FIH Pro League finals.

Along with Orange's Edwina Bone, the Central West pair is part of a 20-member Australian women's squad to play five matches in three weeks next month - with the potential for two more matches in the finals to be played in the Netherlands in late June.

Australia currently sits third in the women's FIH Pro League standings, ahead of clashes against China (June 2), Great Britain (June 9), Germany (June 16), Belgium (June 19) and the Netherlands (June 23).

The Hockeyroos are behind the Netherlands and Argentina on the standings but remain in a tight battle with upcoming opponents Belgium (fourth) and Germany (fifth) for finals spots.

Mariah Williams has had a lay-off and she'll be back into the side. She's starting to show some good form in training.

Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin on the returning Parkes striker.

The Hockeyroos are coming off two wins and a shoot-out loss during the Pro League's Pacific leg against New Zealand, Argentina and USA, with Williams one of the key inclusions ahead of the competition's next leg.

The Parkes product's return is one of five changes to the national squad.

"Selection was a big challenge. We came off a reasonably successful Pacific leg where it was good to hit some field goals," Hockeyroos head coach Paul Gaudoin said.

"Mariah Williams has had a lay-off and she'll be back into the side. She's starting to show some good form in training."

PRO LEAGUE FINAL LEG: Edwina Bone will lock up the Hockeyroos defence again when the national women's side travels to China and Europe in June. Photo: HOCKEY AUSTRALIA

PRO LEAGUE FINAL LEG: Edwina Bone will lock up the Hockeyroos defence again when the national women's side travels to China and Europe in June. Photo: HOCKEY AUSTRALIA

Gaudoin said the Hockeyroos were bullish about their FIH Pro League finals chances but also keeping an eye on the Oceania Cup in Rockhampton in September which will serve as Australia's Olympic qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

"We're hoping to make finals," Gaudoin said.

"We're also trying to make sure we give a number of players in our squad an opportunity to perform.

"We're keen to do well in this FIH Pro League leg and we've also got a small eye on the Oceania Cup, which is our Olympic qualifier later in the year."

Australia's first game against China begins at 6pm AEST on June 2.

  • HOCKEYROOS: Jocelyn Bartram (Albury, NSW), Edwina Bone (Orange, NSW), Lily Brazel (Sydney, NSW), Emily Chalker (Crookwell, NSW), Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA), Kalindi Commerford (Ulladulla, NSW), Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW), Savannah Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW), Rebecca Greiner (Bundaberg, QLD), Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD), Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC), Ambrosia Malone (Burleigh, QLD), Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW), Kaitlin Nobbs (Newington, NSW), Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT), Penny Squibb (Tambellup, WA), Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW), Renee Taylor (Everton Park, QLD), Sophie Taylor (Melbourne, VIC), Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW).