Kookaburras take a punt on one keeper
Kookaburras take a punt on one keeper

Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth has gambled by selecting just one goalkeeper for the Commonwealth Games.

The decision to take only Nathan Burgers was made to allow the team an extra positional player to get through tough conditions in New Delhi in October.

Charlesworth will have two fewer players in the squad than for the World Cup in India in March and the Champions Trophy in Germany last month.

He has an experienced line-up which includes three-times world player of the year Jamie Dwyer who, with Liam De Young, will be playing in a third Commonwealth Games.

World Cup teammates Luke Doerner, Robert Hammond and Mark Knowles will be making their second appearance, having represented Australia in Melbourne four years ago.

WA's Trent Mitton, who has played a dozen internationals, is the youngest in the squad at 20 and will be joined by State teammate Fergus Kavanagh.

However, there was disappointment for a couple of West Australians - Kyle Brown was omitted despite winning gold at the World Cup in March and Graeme Begbie will be out of action for a year after knee reconstruction surgery yesterday.

Charlesworth said there were always surprises and disappointments and selecting teams had become more difficult.

"One of the things we have been aiming to do is to build more depth in the group and that means more players are disappointed when it comes down to selecting the team and unfortunately, with the Commonwealth Games, we can only take 16 players rather than 18 and that makes it even more difficult," he said.

"You also select this team to add to the bank of experience going towards the London Olympics and this is part of that pathway because it is the one opportunity you get, between Olympics, to play in a multi-sport event which gives an extra edge to this tournament.

"One of the things we will be doing is taking just one goalkeeper and that leaves us open to an upset and we have to apply ourselves to provide for injury."


  • KOOKABURRAS *

Des Abbott, Nathan Burgers, Joel Carroll, Christopher Ciriello, Liam De Young, Luke Doerner, Jamie Dwyer, Robert Hammond, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Trent Mitton, Eddie Ockenden, Simon Orchard, Matthew Swann, Glenn Turner, Jason Wilson.

The West Australian

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