FIH announces Pro League restart details
The Hockeyroos and the Kookaburras are scheduled to resume their FIH Pro League 2020 campaigns in April 2021 after the revised fixture for the postponed global competition was announced.
The Hockeyroos, who currently sit fourth on the ladder, are set to take on USA away in their first matches back on 3/4 April 2021.
This will be followed by the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras (who sit second in the standings) featuring in double headers against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on the Anzac Day weekend of 24/25 April in Perth.
These matches will be the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras’ first internationals since Hockey Australia announced it had suspended all international travel on the night of Australia’s last FIH Pro League matches against Argentina on 7 March.
In such a challenging period and with a hectic hockey calendar in 2021 due to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games, the fixture schedule was established in cooperation and agreement between the 11 participating National Associations (NAs) and the FIH.
“I’m delighted that we have been able to get this schedule in place and it is really important in terms of our preparation for the Olympics next year,” said Hockey Australia Head of High Performance, Toni Cumpston.
“We’re really looking forward to the competition starting, obviously pending the situation around COVID come April next year. It has been a hard year for everyone in hockey, and the opportunity to play in the FIH Pro League is a light at the end of that.”
“We are really hopeful that the world can get this pandemic under control and can play the game we love on the international stage.”
Following the games against New Zealand, the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras will then head overseas for the remainder of the competition, finishing with double headers against Germany in Mönchengladbach on 29/30 May 2021.
“There is no hiding that it has been a really challenging time with the impact of COVID but the release of this draw gives the group something to work towards and look forward to as we continue to train for the rest of this year,” said Kookaburras Coach Colin Batch.
“We are fortunate that we can be back training and are determined to get back to the levels we were targeting leading up to the Olympics.”
Hockeyroos Coach Paul Gaudoin said the Hockeyroos are eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.
“This break has given everyone an opportunity to freshen up their minds and bodies and rediscover that real hunger and passion to play hockey,” said Gaudoin.
“Now that the revised fixtures have been released, we can start to plan and structure our preparations accordingly.”
Commenting on the announcement, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said: “All hockey fans have been eagerly waiting for the day where the world’s best teams would play again. Whilst the pandemic is not over and staying healthy while playing hockey is an absolute priority, it’s a sign of hope that the resumption of the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League is looming.”
FIH will continue to closely monitor the global evolution of the COVID-19 situation, with the safety of athletes, fans and everyone involved being top priority.
The FIH Hockey Pro League is the annual global home and away league involving the world’s best men’s and women’s international teams.
The first match of the FIH Pro League 2020 resumption will be on 22 September with Germany hosting Belgium.
FIH Pro League 2020 - remaining Hockeyroos and Kookaburras matches
3 April 2021 USA v Hockeyroos (venue and time TBC)
4 April 2021 USA v Hockeyroos (venue and time TBC)
24 April 2021 Kookaburras v New Zealand (Perth, 4pm local)
24 April 2021 Hockeyroos v New Zealand (Perth, 6.30pm local)
25 April 2021 Kookaburras v New Zealand (Perth, 3pm local)
25 April 2021 Hockeyroos v New Zealand (Perth, 5.30pm local)
15 May 2021 China v Hockeyroos (Changzhou, 4pm local)
15 May 2021 Spain v Kookaburras (Valencia, 8.30pm local)
16 May 2021 China v Hockeyroos (Changzhou, 4pm local)
16 May 2021 Spain v Kookaburras (Valencia, 6.30pm local)
23 May 2021 Netherlands v Hockeyroos (venue and time TBC)
23 May 2021 Netherlands v Kookaburras (venue and time TBC)
24 May 2021 Netherlands v Hockeyroos (venue and time TBC)
24 May 2021 Netherlands v Kookaburras (venue and time TBC)
29 May 2021 Germany v Hockeyroos (Mönchengladbach, 2.30pm local)
29 May 2021 Germany v Kookaburras (Mönchengladbach, 5.30pm local)
30 May 2021 Germany v Hockeyroos (Mönchengladbach, 12.30pm local)
30 May 2021 Germany v Kookaburras (Mönchengladbach, 3.30pm local)
*dates and times are subject to change