Seven Perth Thundersticks have been named in Australia’s national squads for 2020.
Uncapped twenty-year-old Karri Somerville has received her first senior call-up for the Hockeyroos and will be joined on the squad by fellow Thunderstick Georgia Wilson.
The squad, selected by Head Coach Paul Gaudoin, was based on a range of factors underpinned by having personnel who will provide the Hockeyroos with the best chance of success in what is a huge year, beginning with the FIH Pro League in late January and leading into Tokyo 2020 in late July.
Somerville’s rise comes off the back of an impressive Sultana Bran Hockey One season, with her performances doing more than enough to capture the eyes of the national selectors.
“Karri had an excellent Hockey One season. She played at half back and was very dynamic getting up and back down the pitch,” Gaudoin said.
“She’s a tall, mobile defender who is pretty quick off the mark and having someone with a bit of speed in our defensive group is going to be handy.
“She’s also got a developing drag flick and it’s pleasing to see that you can go from being a youthful player to a more experienced player and have the opportunity to come into the squad.”
For the men, five Thundersticks players have been named as part of the Kookaburras 2020 squad, including Aran Zalewski, Trent Mitton, Tyler Lovell (GK), Tom Wickham and Jake Harvie.
The majority of this year’s squad that qualified for Tokyo 2020, won the inaugural Pro League and secured the world number one ranking, have been retained.
With minimal turnover in the squad for next year, Batch believes this Kookaburras group is yet to reach its full potential, something he hopes will come on the biggest stage at the 2020 Olympics.
“We did really well in 2019 so we can tick that off as a good year but know there is a lot of improvement left in this group,” Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch said.
“I’m looking to all of the players to create more opportunities and growth in the group both individually and for us as a team.”
The Hockeyroos’ next official international is on 25 January 2020 in Sydney against Belgium in their opening match of the FIH Pro League 2020, while the Kookaburras’ opening matches of 2020 will be the FIH Pro League 2020 on 25/26 January against Belgium in Sydney.