Further adding to the excitement of the new FIH Pro League season kicking off, a host of Hockeyroos and Kookaburras are nearing significant individual milestones.
In all, 10 players are in line to celebrate major appearance milestones during the upcoming four Pro League double headers at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre, although Kookaburras forward Blake Govers (97 matches) is an exemption from that list as he continues his recovery from a torn adductor.
The impending milestone of most immediate note is defender Jeremy Hayward. Having made his debut in March 2014 against China, the Kookaburras’ number 32 is set to make his 150th appearance on the opening match day against Belgium on 25 January.
Then on match day two against Belgium midfielder Matt Swann is in line to reach the 200 game milestone. Swann’s match tally to date has included two Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games, and three World Cups following his Kookaburras debut in October 2009.
Currently sitting on 197 appearances is Hockeyroos defender Edwina Bone and Kookaburras midfielder Jake Whetton. If they play both matches against Belgium, their 200th appearances will likely come up in the opening match day against Great Britain on Saturday 1 February.
That match may also be a milestone match for Karri McMahon, who will reach 150 Hockeyroos appearances providing she plays both times against Belgium.
Tom Craig is three matches off making his 100th Kookaburras appearance and there is no doubt the Kookaburras forward, who heralds from Sydney’s lower north shore, would not only love to celebrate it celebrate it in front of family and friends in his home city, but also score in a Kookaburras win.
The other three players with milestones pending that could be reached during the Pro League matches in Sydney are Jocelyn Bartram and Tom Wickham, who currently have 48 international caps, while four more appearances would see Rosie Malone reach 50 matches for the Hockeyroos.
Meanwhile, Kookaburras co-captain Eddie Ockenden is eight matches away from eclipsing Jamie Dwyer’s all time record of 365 Kookaburras appearances. If Ockenden, who was named the 2019 Kookaburras Player of the Year, plays every Pro League match to start the season, he will set the record in the home Pro League encounter against reigning Olympic gold medallists Argentina in Perth on Saturday 7 March.
Kalindi Commerford currently sits on 45 matches and providing she plays all four matches in Sydney, she would make her 50th Hockeyroos appearance in the opening match day against Argentina.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos’ double headers in Sydney are against Belgium on 25/26 January followed by Great Britain on 1/2 February.
Tickets for all of the FIH Pro League matches in Sydney and Perth are available now through Ticketek.
Kookaburras and Hockeyroos – upcoming milestones
Eddie Ockenden 358 appearances
Matthew Swann 198
Edwina Bone 197
Jake Whetton 197
Jeremy Hayward 149
Karri McMahon 147
Tom Craig 97
Blake Govers 97
Jocelyn Bartram 48
Tom Wickham 48
Rosie Malone 46
Kalindi Commerford 45