HOCKEYROOS selectors on Wednesday had a bone to pick ahead of the 2014 women’s Rabobank World Cup in the Netherlands in June.
Luckily for former Kinross Wolaroi product Edwina Bone, it was her.
Finding out of her selection in the 18-strong squad on her birthday on Tuesday, the 26-year-old will anchor the Hockeyroos defence in a bid to return the Australian women’s hockey side to the lofty heights it enjoyed through two gold medal winning Olympic and World Cup campaigns from 1994 to 2000.
Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens named a squad containing just seven players that finished fifth at the 2010 World Cup and nine of those that represented Australia at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Debuting in national colours last year, Bone is one of nine new faces.
Shaping up for the biggest tournament of her young, 36-game career, Bone yesterday received a massive boost when Commens revealed his World Cup squad contains the 18 form women’s hockey players in the country.
“We feel this is our strongest squad based on current form,” Commens said, with the Hockeyroos heading into the competition on the back of impressive progress over the past 12 months.
Gold medal victories at the Oceania Cup and World League semi final tournaments, and a silver medal finish at the World League finals in Argentina last November have helped the Australian women to rise to fourth in the world rankings.
The Hockeyroos will depart for Europe on May 12, where they will first play in a four nations tournament against England, Japan and Germany in Bremen.
Australia’s first game of the World Cup is against Korea at 10.30pm AEST on Saturday, May 31.
Pooled alongside Japan, Belgium, hosts Netherlands and Oceanic rivals New Zealand, Commens was confident of matching it with the world’s best.
“There’s a misconception that we’ve been together for a long time but we’ve had significant turnover since the Olympic Games,” he said.
“There’s a lot of talent in our squad though, we performed well in 2013 and we’re aiming to reach the semi-finals. We’re more than capable of reaching that stage and performing well against the top nations. From there, anything can happen.
“The Dutch are the clear number one and they’re in our pool. We’ll get a good indication from that match of where we’re at but I certainly don’t believe we fear anyone in the other side of the draw.”
HOCKEYROOS: Teneal Attard, Madonna Blyth, Edwina Bone, Jane Claxton, Kirstin Dwyer, Casey Eastham, Anna Flanagan, Emily Hurtz, Kate Jenner, Jodie Kenny, Rachael Lynch, Karri McMahon, Georgia Nanscawen, Ashleigh Nelson, Georgie Parker, Emily Smith, Ashlee Wells, Kellie White.