Rebuilt Aust hockey teams eager for Games

Australia defended their men's hockey world league championships title in December.
Australia defended their men's hockey world league championships title in December.

They bombed out at the Olympics but Australia's national hockey teams are keen to prove to home fans that they're back on track when they contest the Commonwealth Games.

The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras were equally disappointing in shock quarter-final exits in Rio two years ago, prompting major rebuilds in both squads.

The women's team in particular suffered a disastrous fallout, which included the sacking of coach Adam Commens for alleged misconduct.

However, with the Hockeyroos boasting gold medals from the past three Commonwealth Games, new mentor Paul Gaudoin says his regenerated squad won't be lowering expectations.

The team will be led by new captain Emily Smith and midfield star Steph Kershaw.

"It (Rio) is something that we talk about. At the end of the day, the girls are clear that this is a new group and it doesn't really help us, looking at the past," Gaudoin told AAP.

"We need to create and write our own history.

"That's something the girls are pretty keen to do, look forward and look at the opportunity that presents itself.

"The Hockeyroos have got an excellent record at the Commonwealth Games and we want to continue that.

"We go to every tournament wanting to win and that doesn't change here."

Gaudoin insists his team can compete with their main rivals in England (world No.2) and New Zealand (No.4), with the latter in Group B with Australia.

The men's team, ranked No.1, will be favoured to win a sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal, under their new coach Colin Batch.

His squad were given added motivation last month when veteran captain Mark Knowles announced he will retire after the Gold Coast event.

Eight players will be missing from the squad that were bundled out by New Zealand in Rio, however, the Kookaburras still boast experienced campaigners Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski.

Key defender Matt Dawson is in some doubt for the tournament after suffering an eye socket injury during training.

Australian Associated Press