Slattery eyes leadership role in new era

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

South Stirling-bred striker Kathryn Slattery says the new-look Hockeyroos side under new head coach Paul Gaudoin are ready to write their own history as they prepare to contest the Hockey World League semifinal in Brussels, Belgium, later this month.

Slattery will compete at her first major international tournament since her impressive performance at Olympic Games in Rio last year, as the Hockeyroos aim to qualify for the Hockey World League finals in November and secure their place at the 2018 World Cup.

The former Tigers and Manypeaks player was not part of the recent Hawkes Bay Cup campaign but with a number of experienced players moving on since the Olympics, she said she was ready to take on added responsibility in the side.

“This is easily the most important tournament of the year,” Slattery said. “We have to finish top five to make the World Cup next year and be in the top four to make the World League finals.

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“But it’s also about finding out where our team sits inter-nationally. This is a really exciting time, with a new coach and new program, to write our own history.

“I’m one of our older and more experienced girls now, so I definitely want to take a leadership role, keep pushing everyone and really influence the girls coming through.”

The Hockeyroos will fly out on June 11 to play warm-up games against Holland before the HWL semifinals start on June 21.

They face Malaysia, Belgium, New Zealand and Spain in their pool games.

Slattery said it was an important 18 months coming up as the Hockeyroos prepared for the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 and hopefully the World Cup next July.

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