Hockey National Development Squad Member and top scorer for WA Penny Squibb has been selected to the 18 member Hockeyroos Team competing in the 2018 FIH Champions Trophy in China from 17-25 November.
The Champions Trophy will be the last-ever edition of the event (which has run since 1978) before next year’s introduction of the new FIH Pro League.
Third-ranked Australia will come up against hosts China (ranked 11th), defending champions Argentina (fourth), Olympic champions Great Britain (England ranked second), world number one Netherlands and the invited Japan (14th).
Hockeyroos head coach Paul Gaudoin said that while winning was the main goal, the Australian Hockey League has their eye on developing the athlete cohort for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We want to identify the right athletes who’ll help us prepare for 2020, so we’ve taken the opportunity to expose some new athletes to the international arena, but we still have some core athletes,” Gaudoin said.
“Among the new additions are those who’ve had some good form in the AHL and those who we’ve been keeping an eye on for a fair period of time.”
25 year-old Penny Squibb has had an impressive record for the WA Diamonds, recently scoring multiple goals against the NT Pearls in a game in Perth. Dealing with pressure in high stakes games is nothing new to Penny who trusts in each team member playing their position well and sticking to the game plan.
“We accept that the pressure is going to build, and know we just need to move the ball, and make sure we communicate - this helps to give each other the confidence to keep going until that final whistle,” Squibb said.
“Teamwork and support has been a pretty big part of this year’s team both on and off the field, making sure people feel confident to bring their individual skill sets to improve the team’s performance,” she said.
“We also have a group of girls that get along well and are all looking out for each other so think the support comes naturally while on the field.”
Penny has her sights on the Champion’s Trophy and aims to progress as far as possible within the sport – and Gaudoin agrees she has the talent to do so.
“Penny has been in our Development Squad for a couple of years. She’s been in our training environment a couple of times on a VAA scholarship,” he said.
“She’s performed very well in the AHL and we believe she deserves an opportunity to show what she can do at the next level.”
The first Hockeyroos game against Argentina on Saturday 17 November will be televised live on Fox Sports from 7pm (AEDT).
Hockeyroos 2018 Champions Trophy schedule (all times AEDT):
Saturday 17 November 7pm – Australia v Argentina
Sunday 18 November 5pm – Australia v Great Britain
Tuesday 20 November 5pm – Australia v Netherlands
Thursday 22 November 7pm – Australia v China
Saturday 24 November 5pm – Australia v Japan
Sunday 25 November – Finals