Slattery a key for Diamonds title hopes

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

South Stirling-bred striker Kathryn Slattery looms as a key part of the WA Diamonds’ bid to return to glory in the Australian Hockey League, starting today at Perth Hockey Stadium.

It will be a vital hit-out for Slattery as she prepares for the Hockeyroos’ Oceania Cup tilt against New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, which will take place almost immediately after the AHL finishes on October 8.

Last year the WA Diamonds finished fifth and despite having seven AHL titles to their name their most recent success came back in 2010.

The presence of former Tigers and Manypeaks junior Slattery up front will hopefully help WA make their first grand final in four years, alongside fellow Oceania Cup squad member Georgia Wilson.

“Playing for the Diamonds is always an exciting time, I love being in black and gold,” Slattery said.

“Our team is looking sharp with a good mix of old and new and I think we will work well.

“A lot of pride is on the line and the Diamonds have a strong tradition of success in this league, playing in front of a home crowd adds that extra excitement and it should be a good tournament.”

Slattery has vast international experience, the current Hockeyroos forward having 29 goals in 77 caps.

Tambellup’s Penny Squibb is also in the 18-strong WA Diamonds squad that will compete in the 10-day carnival.

The WA Diamonds begin their campaign against the Canberra Strikers at 2pm today before facing the NT Pearls on Saturday night and then reigning champions the Queensland Scorchers on Sunday afternoon.

Their final pool game will be against New Zealand next Tuesday, followed by crossover matches.

The gold and bronze medal games are on October 8 and the Hockeyroos fly to Sydney the next day.

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