MALAYSIA BOUND: Dylan Wotherspoon on the charge against the Netherlands.
MALAYSIA BOUND: Dylan Wotherspoon on the charge against the Netherlands. Biswaranjan Rout

Murwillumbah star makes return to Kookaburras

TWEED hockey star Dylan Wotherspoon is set for a return to the green and gold of Australia.

The Murwillumbah product will make his return to the Hockey Australia fold after a stint in Europe, joining Kookaburras veteran Eddie Ockenden in the Kookaburras' 18-man side for the annual Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Matt Swann will make his international come-back after rehabilitating from a broken foot suffered in mid-2016, and 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallists Andrew Charter and Andrew Philpott are also inclusions in the squad, which was announced on Wednesday.

Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said selectors decided to take a fresh approach for the Cup, which starts on April 29.

"The team we have selected for Azlan Shah is slightly different to the team who competed in Darwin; the reason being that we would like to give as many players as possible the opportunity to show their ability at an international level before we make the team selection for the World League semi-finals,” Batch said.

"The players we have coming in are long-standing Kookaburras, and we would like to see them play in the team structure that we have as a result of new players being selected to the 2017 squad.

"The Azlan Shah Cup provides good competition for us, so it will be interesting to see how our new look side fares in the hot climate of Malaysia.”

Wotherspoon's return is a welcome sight for a player looking to become a permanent member of the Australian set-up after a string of injury setbacks.

Now with 30 caps, Wotherspoon had to withdraw from the Kookaburras squad twice over the last two years due to hamstring issues.



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