Hayley and Josh to play for Australia

September 07, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Doncaster rising stars to play for Australia

Two of Doncaster Hockey Club’s rising young stars are about to add Australian caps to their honours cabinets.  Hayley Padget and Josh Simmonds have this week been added the Australian Hockeyroos and Kookaburras sides.

Padget has just jumped on a plane for Japan where the Four Nations Women’s Ibaraki International Tournament will be played in Osaka.  The Hockeyroos will be up against South Korea, United States and hosts Japan.

Padget was selected in the National Women’s Development Squad in 2016 and 2017 and has been knocking on the Hockeyroos door ever since.  The Four Nations Women’s Tournament in Osaka will see her don the senior Hockeyroos uniform for the first time.

“I’m thrilled to bits to be added to this side going to Japan.  I have played international hockey with the Development Squad which has been terrific but to be included in the Hockeyroos side is all I could ask for” Padget said.

Padget actually moved to Perth for 2015 to be closer to Hockey Australia’s ‘head office’.  “Perth was a great place to live and obviously the very best of our hockey players are based there so it was an excellent step for me to learn.  I’m sure my time in Perth has helped for this selection.  But I’ve also had great support from Donny, I couldn’t imagine having as good an experience growing up anywhere else” Padget said.

Doncaster’s Josh Simmonds is just 22 and has made the most of his opportunities in recent years.  Simmonds was selected in the Under 21 Australian side in 2016 playing in the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia and the Junior World Cup in India the month following.  In 2017 Simmonds was added to the National Men’s Development Squad.

In June of this year Simmonds was then asked to move to Perth, where Hockey Australia keep their elite hockey players under the microscope.  Just three months after arriving, Simmonds will now play for the Kookaburras in Darwin for the International Hockey Open against Argentina, Malaysia and Japan.  Australia will also play two Tests against second ranked Argentina during their time in Darwin.

“I’m still settling into to Perth and the International Hockey Open was the first Kookaburras’ selection so I was wrapped to be included.  And the Tests against Argentina will be a big challenge, I’m really looking forward to it.  Darwin will be my first men’s international and that will be a big step up from the Under 21’s but I feel ready for the challenge” Simmonds said.

Simmonds points to his Doncaster teammate and retired Kookaburra, Russell Ford as one of his most important supporters.  “Rusty has been a huge help to me, he has a lot of experience at this level so I always look to him as a mentor.  He is always sending me messages since I’ve been here [Perth] and is always a good sounding board and to ask questions.  I’ve played Vikings [Victoria] with Rusty and trained twice a week with him at Doncaster and he has played a big role in my development” Simmonds said.

Doncaster President, Sarah Gaskill, said the club was very proud of Padget’s and Simmonds’ selections.  “Both Hayley and Josh started with Doncaster as young kids playing hockey.  To see them now playing for the country puts a lump in your throat.  Obviously Hayley and Josh didn’t just get picked, they have both put in an enormous amount of work over the journey so National selection is a just reward” Gaskill said.

The Victorian Institute of Sport published an article, Padget on route, relating to Hayley's selection in the Hockeyroos on the VIS website this week.  You can read that VIS article here.