London Olympics 2012 Specials
Best result: Won gold in 1988 Seoul Games, 1996 Atlanta Games and 2000 Sydney Games.
Last Olympic: Finished fifth
The Hockeyroos have won three golds in seven Olympics they have participated since 1984 (Australia had boycotted the 1980 Games when women's hockey had made its debut). The only team to have bagged consecutive golds in women's hockey, the team saw a dip in its form recently. They ended outside the top four at the World Cup and was also relegated to Champions Challenge I level in the wake of the 2011 edition. They also finished runners-up in the 2011 Oceania Cup, losing to New Zealand on goal aggregate.
The Road to London:
Reaching the London Olympics was never a serious challenge for the Hockeyroos for they, along with New Zealand, get the two Olympic berths for there were no other Pacific Islands team in the fray last time. The Aussies drew the three-match series 1-1 but lost on goal difference.
Players to watch out for:
Midfielder Casey Eastham, termed as the 'Baby of the Beijing Olympic Games', has played a decisive role in transforming the team. Three years ago, she was adjudged the World Young Player of the Year. The team is a great blend of experience and youth with the skipper, Madonna Blyth, who at 26 is a veteran of 200 caps. Georgia Nanscawen, another youngster, will be another player to watch out for.
1. Young and fit team.
2. Fast and attacking style of play.
3. Specialised in penalty-corner convertibility.
1. The team till recently was in a transition and London would decide whether the Hockeyroos have reached the maturity to emerge as a title contender.
2. Injury a cause of concern.
Chances of progress at the London Games:
The Hockeyroos will utilise their Olympic temperament despite fielding a young team. Teams like Argentina, Germany and New Zealand will pose big challenge to them and it is to be seen how the young Oz eves take it into their stride. They will, nevertheless, gather some valuable experience for the 2016 Rio Games.
Madonna Blyth (c), Teneal Attard, Fiona Boyce, Jade Close, Toni Cronk (gk), Anna Flanagan, Casey Eastham, Kobie McGurk, Kate Jenner, Hope Munro, Georgia Nanscawen, Megan Rivers, Asleigh Nelson, Megan Rivers, Emily Smith, Jodie Schulz (gk) and Jade Taylor. Reserves: Emily Hurtz and Ashlee Wells (gk).
Adam Commens, a former midfielder in the Australian side, was part of the bronze-winning team in Sydney. From 2007-10, Commens was in charge of the Belgian men's team and had guided them to their return to the Olympics in 32 years. He took charge of the Hockeyroos in 2010 and stressed penalty-corner conversions and drag-flicking. He was also instrumental in bringing many talented players into the side.