Orange product Edwina Bone and her Hockeyroos flew out for London on Wednesday, ahead of this year’s International Hockey Federation World Cup, which kicks off on Saturday, July 21.
Australia finished runners-up at the last World Cup in 2014, losing 2-0 in the final to the Netherlands in The Hague and are also coming off a devastating Commonwealth Games decider loss to New Zeraland.
Bone and her Hockeyroos did hit back by winning May’s Tri Nations and took down the Black Sticks and Japan, Australia is group with both those sides at the World Cup along with Belgium in pool D.
However it’s the Dutch who remain the team to beat four years on from their last win, the No.1 ranked side in the world are the favourites, with England and Argentina the next most-fancied sides.
The Hockeyroos, after a number of personnel and style changes, are ranked fifth heading in.
Paul Gaudoin took the side’s reins in late 2016 after a disappointing Rio Olympics campaign, and he’s bullish about the Hockeyroos’ prospects in London, with practice games against India and Great Britain set to give the outfit a feel for the tournament.
“We want to get a good feel for the turf and the atmosphere,” Gaudoin said.
“The World Cup is a unique experience. It’s going to be a great opportunity.
“Those first few games are about getting used to playing in that environment.
“We also get to play against an Asian team in India and there’s some similarities in New Zealand and even Belgium in the way they play.
“As well we play Great Britain with a European feel so we’ll be prepared if we meet those teams we’ll have some experience against them.”
Australia’s first World Cup match is against Japan on Sunday, July 22.
They follow that with games against Belgium on July 24, then New Zealand on July 29, before the finals.