Author: Nic Kerber
The list of athletes that will make up Australia’s Men’s Hockey National Development Squad for the next 12 months has been announced.
The Men’s National Development Squad comprises athletes on the verge of breaking into the national senior program, with an eye to being selected for the Kookaburras at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 2023 World Cup in India and Paris Olympics in 2024.
All 19 athletes selected in the 2020 Men’s National Development Squad competed in the recent inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League.
Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch said the athletes’ performances in the new reinvigorated domestic competition played a significant role in their selections, and he has been impressed with the level of the players who are knocking on the door.
“There is really good depth in Australian men’s hockey at the moment and the athletes that have been selected have proven they have the quality to be in the mix for the Kookaburras,” said Batch.
“The coaching staff and High Performance department see this group of athletes as integral in driving the Kookaburras to ongoing improvement and success, and being selected in this squad clearly sends the message that they are very much in contention.
“Nathan (Ephraums) and Kurt (Lovett) were both part of the National Development Squad this year and forced their way into the senior Kookaburras squad, so I look forward to monitoring the development of all the players on our radar.”
As part of the National Development Squad, athletes will continue to train in their home daily training environment with their National Training Centre (NTC) programs, under the guidance of the national program coaches.
The National Development Squad features six players from the Sultana Bran Hockey One League’s undefeated NSW Pride team, including capped Kookaburra Jack Hayes.
Lachlan Busiko is the sole athlete from South Australia in the squad and Hayden Beltz, the brother of Kookaburra Josh Beltz, is the only player from Tasmania.
In addition, throughout the year these athletes may be invited to train with the senior Kookaburras squad in Perth as part of a Visitor Athlete Agreement and be involved in training and match environments that are above their current level of competition.
2020 Men’s National Development Squad
Name, State, Hockey One Team
Kiran Arunasalam, VIC, HC Melbourne
Hayden Beltz, TAS, Tassie Tigers
Lachlan Busiko, SA, Adelaide Fire
James Day, ACT, Canberra Chill
Hayden Dillon, NSW, NSW Pride
Matthew Finn, QLD, Brisbane Blaze
Liam Flynn, WA, Perth Thundersticks
Jack Hayes, NSW, NSW Pride
Max Hendry, VIC, HC Melbourne
Dylan Martin, NSW, NSW Pride
Hugh Pembroke, QLD, Brisbane Blaze
Ryan Proctor, NSW, NSW Pride
Jayshaan Randhawa, VIC, HC Melbourne
Joel Rintala, QLD, Brisbane Blaze
Jake Sherren, VIC, HC Melbourne
Ben Staines, ACT, Canberra Chill
Nathanael Stewart, NSW, NSW Pride
Ash Thomas, NSW, NSW Pride
Blake Wotherspoon, QLD, Brisbane Blaze