Tassie Tigers Men’s Foundation Squad Announced

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The Tassie Tigers foundation squad of 35 athletes for the 2019 Hockey One season has been announced.

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The list is headed by current Kookaburras Captain Eddie Ockenden, who will also serve as Tassie Tigers Captain, and former Kookaburra Tim Deavin as Vice Captain.

International players Joshua Beltz, Jack Welch, and Jeremy Edwards will join them, as well as national squad members Hayden Beltz, Kieron Arthur, Sam McCulloch, and Gobindraj Gill.

They’ll be joined by the Northern Territory’s international star Jeremy Hayward. The 26-year-old defender/midfielder has racked up 147 caps for the Kookaburras and scored 62 goals. He is renowned for his hard-running, distribution, and prowess from the penalty corner with his powerful drag-flick.

Coach Andrew McDonald said that Hayward is one of the best players in Australia and could easily have played for any franchise given that the Northern Territory have not entered a team in the inaugural version of the Hockey One competition. The relationship formed between Hayward, McDonald, and Eddie Ockenden during their time at the Dabang Mumbai franchise in the 2017 Hockey India League was central to Hayward’s decision to play for the Tassie Tigers in 2019.

“We spent a considerable amount of time together in India. Jeremy Hayward was drawn to us being a smaller state and I have no doubt he will complement our defence and ensure our penalty corner attack is lethal alongside Kieron Arthur.”

McDonald said the squad was selected after closely watching a number of athletes in various international, national, and club events, and he is extremely happy with the make-up of the list.

“We believe we have a committed group of athletes with a good spread of experience and the vibrancy of youth,” he said.

Some new faces joining the squad are James Thomas, Keegan Popowski, and Kurt Budgeon, who have all played impressive hockey in the past 18 months and will push to be included in the matchday squads to potentially make their debuts.

“I’m very pleased to see Kurt Budgeon named in our squad. He is a real live-wire and will undoubtedly unsettle an opposition defence. Hopefully he will earn the chance to make his debut after convincing us in our preparation trainings.”

The squad will train together over the next 7 weeks and be trimmed to 20 athletes before Round 1 of the Hockey One season starts on September 28. From that 20 a matchday team of 14 athletes will be selected for each round of the home and away season.

The Tassie Tigers will play their first match at home at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre on 5 October against the Adelaide Fire. Foundation Memberships are on sale now.

Tassie Tigers 2019 Hockey One Foundation Squad

Head Coach: Andrew McDonald
Assistant Coach: Richard Davies
Manager: Iain Meaney

Kieron Arthur (N)
Benji Austin (S)
Joshua Beltz (S)
Hayden Beltz (S)
James Bourke (S)
Graham Brennan (S)
Thomas Broadby (S)
Joshua Brooks (S)
Kurt Budgeon (N)
Henry Chambers (S)
Tim Deavin – VICE CAPT (N)
Jeremy Edwards (S)
Gobindraj Gill (S)
Daniel Harper (S)
Jeremy Hayward (Northern Territory)
Nick Leslie (S)
Joshua Mardell (S)
Sam McCambridge (S)
Linden McCarthy (NW)
Sam McCulloch (S)
Ian McHugh (S)
Joseph Murphy (NW)
Eddie Ockenden – CAPT (S)
Keegan Popowski (NW)
Benjamin Read (S)
Oliver Smith (S)
William Smith (S)
James Thomas (S)
Aiden Van Staden (S)
Jai Walker-Kidd (N)
Brenton Watson (S)
Jack Welch (S)
Alistair White (S)
Grant Woodcock (S)
Angus Yeates (NW)

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