Hockeyroos wary of rising Belgium

Published Fri 16 Jun 2023

Coming off mixed results in their two FIH Pro League matches against the world number one ranked Netherlands, the magnitude of the challenge in front of the Hockeyroos continues as they prepare to take on Belgium in Antwerp.

Belgium are ranked 4th in the world (one spot behind the Hockeyroos). The teams last met in the group stage of the 2022 FIH Women’s World Cup, where two goals in as many minutes gave the Hockeyroos a hard fought 2-0 win.

The two matches in Antwerp will conclude the Hockeyroos’ FIH Pro League 2022-23 campaign and be their final internationals before the all-important Oceania Cup against New Zealand in August, which doubles as qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

The Hockeyroos tuned up for the matches against Belgium with an unofficial hit out against Scotland, which the Australians won 2-1.

The Hockeyroos currently sit second on the FIH Pro League Women’s standings. Belgium are fourth, although they have played six games less.

Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram said a rapidly improving Belgium will be a tough assignment, especially at home.

“Belgium have been a rising nation in women’s hockey so we’re expecting a really tough game,” said Bartram.

“They are going to press hard and try to counterattack, so we’re working on ways that we can counteract that.”

Bartram said the confidence and morale in the playing group was high as they look to finish their European leg of the FIH Pro League on a winning note.

“We just want the best for each other. We know that the better each of us are, the better it is for the team, so we work hard to push each other every day and celebrate each other’s successes,” said Bartram.

The opening match is at 4.40am AEST on Saturday. The match will be shown LIVE on Kayo.

The Kookaburras are also in Antwerp to take on Belgium’s men’s team in their final two FIH Pro League matches.

FIH Pro League 2022-23 Season Eindhoven and Antwerp - Hockeyroos & Kookaburras Match Schedule
8 June - Netherlands 7-2 Hockeyroos (Eindhoven)
9 June - Netherlands 2-7 Kookaburras (Eindhoven)
11 June - Netherlands 3-3 (1-2) Hockeyroos (Eindhoven)
12 June - Netherlands 5-2 Kookaburras (Eindhoven)
16 June - Belgium v Hockeyroos (Antwerp) 8:40pm local time (4.40am AEST, Saturday 17 June) LIVE on Kayo
17 June - Belgium v Kookaburras (Antwerp) 4:40pm local time (12.40am AEST, Sunday 18 June) LIVE on Kayo
19 June - Belgium v Hockeyroos (Antwerp) 8:40pm local time (4.40am AEST, Tuesday 20 June) LIVE on FOX Sports and Kayo
20 June - Belgium v Kookaburras (Antwerp) 8:40pm local time (4.40am AEST, Wednesday 21 June) LIVE on FOX Sports and Kayo

Full FIH Pro League 2022-23 Match Schedule