Recovering Olympian Mariah Williams has received a welcome confidence boost from national coaches after being named in the Hockeyroos squad for 2019.
The 23-year-old striker, who missed this season’s Commonwealth Games, World Cup and Champions Trophy with injury, was one of 27 women’s players picked by Hockey Australia officials.
She recently returned to the field in China, scoring six goals in six games as part of an under-23 Australian development tour, which wrapped up on November 10.
The former Hunter Sports High School student had groin surgery in February and battled a hamstring strain during October’s Australian Hockey League series. In 2016, leading up to her Olympic debut in Rio, she had her fourth knee operation in the space of three years.
Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said the 2020 Tokyo Games were also taken into account with these latest selections.
“We’ve selected the 2019 squad with a good eye on Tokyo,” Gaudoin told Hockey Australia media.
"We’re looking to narrow our focus towards Tokyo and have identified the key skills we believe necessary to enable success. It’s been a tough process. There’s a lot of good players who’ve missed out.
“But we want to give some opportunities to people who’ve been performing well in our national level, internationally or in their domestic environment.”
Williams, whose parents live in Teralba, made the first of 63 Test appearances aged 17 in 2013.