Burras align with Kookaburras for European tour

The Burras team for the upcoming European tour has been selected as Australia’s Under 21 Men’s Team heads over for a string of international matches that will include crossover and time with the Kookaburras.

The Burras will play two internationals each against the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany’s Under 21 national teams in June across the same period the Kookaburras will be in Europe for a block of FIH Pro League matches.

Burras Head Coach Jay Stacy announced a 17-player team for the tour, much of selection based on what he and the selection panel observed at the Australian U21 Championships in Sydney. Selection of an 18th and final player for the tour will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Stacy said competition for spots was fierce and admitted there were the obvious mix of emotions, something he experienced in his 14 year, 321 game Kookaburras career.

“Through my own playing career it happened a lot and in any team that you’re coaching, there are always selections and disappointments along the way,” said Stacy.

“If there are guys disappointed it shows it means something to them and they’re hungry to be selected. That provides competitiveness within the group which leads to better performance individually and collectively.”

“We have selected this team based on position, the skillset they bring to the group and also their performance at the Under 21 nationals.”

“It’s exciting…the first time for some of the athletes to either represent the Burras or go on a tour, coupled with some guys who were part of the Burras last year who will bring experience to the group and lead the way.”

As part of the tour, the Burras will spend time with the Kookaburras squad who will play FIH Pro League matches in Eindhoven and Antwerp.

“We’ve strategically picked this time to be in and around the Kookaburras’ Pro League matches in Europe. We want to tap into the Kookaburras where our schedules allow us,” said Stacy.

“Whether it’s sitting in on a game debrief, observing their matches or just being around the Kookaburras group and seeing how it is done at the highest level, that will be invaluable experience in itself.”

“We see our Junior Program as a conveyor belt to the Kookaburras and we want to keep producing talented young athletes to keep the Kookaburras vying to be at the top of world hockey.”

The European tour is an important time as Stacy works to ensure he has the best Burras team to succeed at the FIH Men’s Junior World Cup in December.

“We’ll learn more about these athletes post Europe and then we’ll select another group for the Sultan of Johor Cup in October,” said Stacy.

“There are 13 new players from last year to this year. Most of the changes are players who aged out which is one of the challenges. Once you age out you have to start putting your hand up for senior and development squads.

“We’re not only trying to win the Junior World Cup…we’re trying to equip these athletes with  technical and tactical knowledge with a mindset to be successful both on and off the pitch to one day become a Kookaburra.”

With matches against three European hockey heavyweights, Stacy said it will be of immense benefit.

“We don’t get the opportunity to play Europeans that often, if at all,” said Stacy.

“A lot of these guys wouldn’t have played against European structures before.

“We play a lot of hockey around the Asia Pacific area because of cost and geography, so to have this opportunity to go to Europe and play some of the best European nations all within ten days is invaluable.

“Playing these countries is going to be difficult and different but great preparation for us to do well at the Junior World Cup.”

The Burras will depart for Europe on 7 June.

2023 Australian Junior Men’s (Burras) Team – European tour (7-23 June)
Aiden Dooley (ACT)
Nathan Czinner (NSW)
Dylan Downey (NSW)
Jake Lambeth (NSW)
Toby Mallon (NSW)
Michael Taylor (NSW)
Noah Fahy (QLD)
Max Larkin (TAS)
Cooper Burns (VIC)
Liam Henderson (VIC)
Nye Roberts (VIC)
Angus Adamson (WA)
Luke Anderson (WA) (pictured above)
Brodee Foster (WA)
Max Freedman (WA)
Cambell Geddes (WA)
Oliver Higgins (WA)

Burras European tour – Match Schedule
12 June vs Belgium U21s
13 June vs Belgium U21s
16 June vs Germany U21s
17 June vs Germany U21s
19 June vs Netherlands U21s
21 June vs Netherlands U21s

Australia Hockey

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