“Dream scenario” – Hockeyroos at full strength for penultimate test in Europe

Published Mon 20 May 2024

The Hockeyroos are primed and fully fit, boasting a full-strength 2024 squad travelling to Europe for the penultimate test before the Paris 2024 Olympics in July.

Watch every Hockeyroos & Kookaburras FIH Pro League match live and free on 7plus

It’s the dream scenario for Hockeyroos coach Katrina Powell, who can put every squad member through international competition before the all-important Olympic selection deadline approaches.

“It’s certainly great to travel with the whole squad and provide them with I suppose their last minute opportunity before Olympic selection, but also it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to play against a couple of teams that we will face at the Paris Olympics as well.”

“We expect teams to hold a few things back and not go all out to show what they're doing but all the athletes will be going all out to show what they can do considering each country is in the same position as we are, so I think there'll be a lot of exciting games to come in the Pro League in Europe.”

With only two months remaining until the biggest event of the year, Powell is delighted to have WA star defender Penny Squibb ready to return to competition, following a tough season that saw her sidelined while she rehabbed an injury.

“It’s really great to see her back. Penny’s been working really, really hard and she’s looking really good at training.”

“She’s one of our more positive at the moment, which regularly Penny is! But as you can imagine, being back at training after an injury, training is a thrill, which is not something you can always say and she brings a new energy to the group at the moment as well.”

Penny is on the cusp of a special milestone that’s been a long time coming. Her 50th international cap with the Hockeyroos awaits in just two matches.

Tatum and Grace Stewart also return to the line up after both were forced to watch the Hockeyroos at the Perth International Festival of Hockey from the grandstand while they managed injuries.

“The past few months have been a pretty hard rehab,” Tatum admits. “I'm really excited to be back with the group and back on the turf playing and especially to have Penny right next to me at the back, we’ve been rehabbing together and I'm really looking forward to playing with her again.”

Tatum concedes the injury has allowed her to gain an added perspective before one of the most crucial campaigns in her career.

“It's really made me sit back and reflect on what I can do little things each day so I'll take that same approach into this leg of the FIH Pro League.”

“Obviously, it's important for your individual selection but we can't get the job done in Paris if everybody doesn't do their best every moment each day, so that's all we're trying to do now just focus on the present and then selection will be what it will be.”

The dynamic trio of Mackay’s Claire Colwill, WA’s Karri Somerville and Naracoote’s Hattie Shand are also in line to bring up 50 internationals for Australia. 

Powell agrees having another four players reach 50 caps marks a pivotal moment in their squad as more of the younger talent reach their first milestone of significance.

“I think once you hit 50 you're not a newbie anymore,” Katrina says.

“You’ve got enough games under your belt, you take a little bit more leadership within the group and you get challenged to show a little bit more, and it's really pleasing to see so many of the athletes hitting that milestone that have come a long way in the last couple of years and they’re developing really well.”

The Hockeyroos are making a charge for the medal placings in Season 5 of the FIH Pro League.

They sit just two points shy of Argentina, in 4th place in the standings.

They face Argentina in their second match, one day after taking on hosts Belgium on May 29. In London, they’ll face Great Britain and Germany.

Full FIH Pro League Fixtures

Hockeyroos Squad for the 2024 FIH Pro League Series in Antwerp & London, May 29 - June 13

Name Hometown, State Caps (Goals) Junior Hockey Club
Alice Arnott Willow Tree, NSW 11 (2) Tamworth HC
Jocelyn Bartram (gk) Albury, NSW 100 (0) Wombats HC
Maddison Brooks Hobart, TAS 28 (6) OHA HC
Jane Claxton Adelaide, SA 240 (37) Burnside HC
Claire Colwill Mackay, QLD 49 (5) St Josephs Primary School
Rebecca Greiner Bundaberg, QLD 66 (8) All Blacks HC
Greta Hayes Sydney, NSW 40 (2) St George Randwick, UNSW
Stephanie Kershaw Townsville, QLD 108 (27) Wests HC
Amy Lawton Emerald, VIC 72 (4) Southern United HC
Rosie Malone Burleigh, QLD 106 (44) Burleigh HC
Kaitlin Nobbs Newington, NSW 127 (14) Curtin Trinity Pirates
Brooke Peris Darwin, NT 201 (63) Nightcliff Tigers HC
Aleisha Power Northam, WA 29 (0) Northam Hockey Association
Hattie Shand Naracoorte, SA 45 (0) Adelaide HC
Lucy Sharman Kalangadoo, SA 12 (0) Adelaide HC
Karri Somerville Kensington, WA 45 (0) Victoria Park HC
Penny Squibb Tambellup, WA 48 (6) Tambellup HC
Grace Stewart Gerringong, NSW 121 (60) Gerringong HC
Tatum Stewart Toowoomba, QLD 24 (5) Rangeville Bulldogs HC
Renee Taylor Everton Park, QLD 126 (23) Commercial, Waverley HC
Mariah Williams Parkes, NSW 126 (35) Newcastle Souths, Parkes Rovers
Grace Young Grafton, NSW 27 (0) Royals HC