Hockeyroos stars win appeal over axing

·2-min read

The Olympic hopes of Hockeyroos stars Rachael Lynch and Georgina Morgan remain up in the air despite winning the appeal over their controversial axing from the 2021 squad.

Hockeyroos players threatened to strike after Lynch, the 2019 FIH goalkeeper of the year, and former captain Morgan were left off the 2021 contract list.

Rumours have swirled that the duo were made to pay after airing concerns to team management about a delicate issue that was worrying the player group.

An independent appeals tribunal found due reason to oppose the duo's non-selection after considering material provided by both parties.

But despite that fInding, the pair won't earn an automatic recall.

Instead, it merely means both players are eligible for selection again, with Hockey Australia saying the timing of any further squad selections will be determined by the selection panel.

That has infuriated the player group, who wanted Lynch and Morgan reinstated immediately.

The start of the Tokyo Olympics is just over three months away, meaning Lynch and Morgan have little time to win back their spots and regain their match fitness after months away from the squad.

The elite women's hockey set-up has been in crisis for months now, with an independent review finding a dysfunctional culture existed.

High performance director Toni Cumpston quit in January, and coach Paul Gaudoin fell on his sword in March on the day the review was released.

New coach Katrina Powell is in a difficult position given her contract only runs until the end of the Tokyo Games.

Powell is keen to continue in the role for the next Olympic cycle to Paris 2024.

But if her views on Lynch and Morgan differ to that of Hockey Australia, it could jeopardise her chances.

The new selection panel now faces a big call on what to do about Lynch and Morgan, with public support heavily in favour of recalling the veterans.

Morgan was one of three co-captains who either stepped down or quit late last year in a move that highlighted worries within the Hockeyroos' camp.