New faces in hockey’s National Women’s Development Squad

Posted on March 16, 2021 by

An array of exciting talent is knocking on the door of the Hockeyroos after the 2021 National Women’s Development Squad (NDS) was announced.

There are 12 new faces in the 24-athlete squad who are all aspiring to break into the Hockeyroos squad.

Of the new additions, five athletes have been named from the NSW Institute of Sport. Alice Arnott, Morgan Blamey and Abigail Wilson are joined by two debutants in Abigail Doolan and Grace Jeffrey.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin said selecting a squad was challenging due to the minimal match play athletes had during 2020 caused by COVID, however he is buoyant about the calibre of talent coming through.

“Selecting the National Development Squad allows us to assess and explore our depth over the next 12 months,” said Gaudoin.

“The challenge we have regarding seeing these athletes in match situations is still quite difficult, but post Tokyo we want to make sure we are exposing them to the next level of competition, even if that means internal competitions.”

“What we hope to be able to do towards the end of the year when the 2022 Hockeyroos squad is announced is have a good gauge of the next cohort coming through including the NDS, the national junior squad and those who put their hand up outside of those programs in Hockey One.”

The additions to this year’s Hockeyroos squad are evidence of how significant the NDS is as a launching pad for unearthing Australia’s elite hockey talent.

Aleisha Power, Penny Squibb and Meg Pearce were all promoted from the NDS to the Hockeyroos squad for 2021, while Courtney Schonell was selected from the Jillaroos program.

“Selection of this NDS group is very much about making sure that our next group of athletes not only get an opportunity to perform and be in a strong training environment, but also have the opportunity to realise their dreams of being selected for the national senior squad,” said Gaudoin.

“We need to give them the best opportunity to develop, not only over the next 12 months but with an eye towards the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2023 World Cup in India, Paris 2024 Olympics and beyond.”

Athletes in the NDS train at their home National Training Centre (NTC) under guidance of the national program coaches.

Border restrictions permitting, NDS athletes may also be invited to train with the Hockeyroos squad in Perth as part of a Visitor Athlete Agreement.

2021 Women’s National Development Squad

Name State/Territory Hockey One Club
Alice Arnott NSW NSW Pride
Hannah Astbury (gk) QLD Brisbane Blaze
Kristina Bates VIC HC Melbourne
Morgan Blamey NSW NSW Pride
Abigail Doolan NSW NSW Pride
Ashlea Fey QLD Brisbane Blaze
Savannah Fitzpatrick QLD Brisbane Blaze
Talei Forrest ACT Canberra Chill
Sara Foster WA

Morgan Gallagher QLD Brisbane Blaze
Annie Gibbs WA Perth Thundersticks
Rebecca Greiner QLD Brisbane Blaze
Amy Hammond (gk) SA Adelaide Fire
Nicola Hammond VIC HC Melbourne
Carly James VIC HC Melbourne
Grace Jeffrey NSW

Phillipa Morgan WA Perth Thundersticks
Candyce Peacock WA Perth Thundersticks
Renee Rockliff WA Perth Thundersticks
Michaela Spano SA Adelaide Fire
Shanea Tonkin WA Perth Thundersticks
Aisling Utri VIC HC Melbourne
Britt Wilkinson QLD Brisbane Blaze
Abigail Wilson NSW NSW Pride

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