Powell's plan to heal fractured Hockeyroos

·2-min read

New Hockeyroos coach Katrina Powell is confident she has what it takes to unify the fractured women's hockey set-up, and she hopes her reign will last more than just four months.

Powell was appointed as head coach on Tuesday.

Her predecessor Paul Gaudoin quit a fortnight ago after a damning independent review into the elite women's hockey unit.

That review found a dysfunctional culture existed within the camp, with past and present players expressing their disgust at how team management allowed a toxic culture to manifest.

Fractures within the player group have also emerged in recent times, leaving the Hockeyroos in disarray less than four months out from the Tokyo Olympics.

It's understood the appointment of Powell has been met by widespread relief within the Hockeyroos' player group.

Powell, a former Hockeyroos captain who won two Olympic gold medals during her decorated player career, has spent several short stints with the team in a coaching role.

She was part of the coaching staff at the 2010 and 2018 Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2008 and 2012 Olympic campaigns.

Most recently, the 48-year-old was an assistant coach at the 2019 Oceania Cup.

One of Powell's big tasks is to unify the group, and her plan is to use the prospect of securing a medal in Tokyo as a driving force.

"I feel like I already have a really good relationship with the majority of the group," Powell told AAP.

"I do think that's an advantage coming in, that I already have that built trust, because that can be time consuming.

"Part of that work is already done.

"My focus is on unifying the group and ensuring that the clear purpose of getting on the dais in Tokyo is one that everyone is on board with, which I'm 100 per cent sure they are."

Powell's contract runs out at the end of the Tokyo Games, but she's keen to push on until the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

"It's been my dream for a number of years now to coach the Hockeyroos," Powell said.

"So for me it's certainly not a short-term plan, it's a long-term one.

"The other advantage of being involved at the moment is it's also year one of the next Olympic cycle, so I want to lay some really good foundations towards Paris as well.

"If I can do that, I would be looking to continue on, that's for sure."

Powell's leadership will receive a big test when 2019 goalkeeper of the year Rachael Lynch and former captain Georgina Morgan appeal their axing from the national set-up.

Lynch and Morgan were controversially left off the Hockeyroos' 2021 contract list by Gaudoin late last year, and Powell said she trusts the appeals process to make the right decision.