Australian Jackaroos squad announced
Cabramatta’s recently crowned 18 year-old Australian Open singles champion Ellen Ryan headlines a list of six Australian Jackaroos debutants confirmed by Bowls Australia today.
In the aftermath of last week’s $225,000 Australian Open on the Gold Coast, Bowls Australia’s national selection panel has entrusted 20 athletes with inclusion into the sport’s top high performance tier for the next 12 months, with Ryan among a healthy infusion of young blood and experienced hands set to reenergise the team ahead of the 2016 World Bowls Championships.
Joining Ryan is Western Australia’s dual under-25 world champion Kristina Krstic, 21, while 19 year-old Victorian capped Australian player Chloe Stewart is also now officially an Australian Jackaroo, after making her international debut earlier this year at the Trans Tasman test series.
Earning a berth for the men is Victoria’s 23 year-old Aaron Wilson, who at the time became the youngest winner of the Australian Open blue-ribbon men’s singles in 2013; until his 20 year-old brother Nathan stole that honour a year later, South Australian state male bowler of the year Max Kleinig, 26, and 2012 NSW state singles champion Ray Pearse, 30.
Club Helensvale’s golden quartet of Lynsey Clarke, Mark Casey, Brett Wilkie and Nathan Rice have all been granted further opportunity to add to their international appearance count and impressive resumes over the next year, as will ten other past members of the Australian Jackaroos squad.
Six other members of the successful 2012 World Bowls Championships campaign, where Australia claimed five gold and two silver medals from eight disciplines, retain their coveted positions, including Kelsey Cottrell, Natasha Scott, Rebecca Van Asch, Aron Sherriff, Wayne Ruediger and Australia’s most capped representative in history, Karen Murphy, all keeping their hopes of a repeat performance at next year’s event alive.
2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games representatives Carla Odgers and Matthew Flapper have also been reselected in the squad, as have 2014 Australian Open singles and fours winner Anne Johns and 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Barrie Lester.
Omissions from the squad include Matthew Baus, Kristy Thatcher, Samantha Shannahan, Claire Turley and Mathew Pietersen, who has made himself unavailable for selection consideration due to work commitments.
National Coach Steve Glasson said that the injection of young talent will bode well for the nation’s gold medal prospects at upcoming international hit-outs.
“With such a strong pool of athletes to choose from, this selection process proved no easy feat,” Glasson said.
“We are extremely happy with the squad we have assembled and I congratulate the players and look forward to working with them ahead of some benchmark international events.
“I would like to publicly thank those who have unfortunately not been selected on this occasion, they have all done themselves proud during their tenures.
“We also congratulate Mathew Pietersen on his bowls achievements and wish him well in all future endeavours.”
The Australian Jackaroos will travel to New Zealand in October to trial for the five men and five women spots available for the 2015 Asia Pacific Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand, staged from November 24 to December 6.
In addition to the 10 women named among the squad, 18 year-old NSW young-gun Jamie-Lee Worsnop, from St Johns Park, who last year made history as the youngest ever winner of the Australian Indoor Championships, has been afforded a special invitation to attend the NZ trial camp as part of her ongoing development and exposure to the top tier team, in part due to Jackaroos Captain Lynsey Clarke being unavailable with the impending arrival of her first child.
In the coming week, Bowls Australia will also release the teams selected to participate at a number of international capped and non-capped events, including the …