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The secret is out

THEY showed they could keep a secret ... for two days at least.

And now they have five weeks to unlock the secret to reclaiming their ranking as one of world hockey's powerhouses.

The 16-person Hockeyroos squad for the London Olympics was unveiled yesterday, although the successful players had been told on Sunday.

Just seven players have Olympic Games experience: captain Madonna Blyth, Casey Eastham, Teneal Attard, Toni Cronk, Kobie McGurk, Hope Munro and Megan Rivers.

Coach Adam Commens said selection had been difficult, but he was pleased with the final 16 that made the cut.

"We believe in this group, but we know the next six weeks are so important to our Olympic campaign," he said. "We have identified the areas we need to dramatically improve on if we are to challenge for a medal at the Games."

The Hockeyroos finished a disappointing fifth at the Beijing Games four years ago and head to London with high hopes they will return with a medal.

One who is determined to make that happen is 27-year-old Attard who has fought back from three knee reconstructions to play in her second Olympics.

Blyth took over as captain in 2009 and said she was determined to see the women's team reclaim the title as the top nation in the world.

McGurk was last year named in the Federation of International Hockey's prestigious World All Stars team and will play a key role in defence.

And after retiring to start a family, Munro has returned to the top of her game, and alongside stalwart Megan Rivers, will be pivotal to Australia's attack in midfield.

Goalkeeper Toni Cronk is the only player left from the team that played at the Athens Games in 2004 and is set to represent her country at her third Olympics.

Casey Eastham was the baby of the Beijing Games but four years on is part of the leadership group and her performance will be important to the team's success.

Ashleigh Nelson debuted for the Hockeyroos in 2007 and was overlooked for the Olympic team a year later but the strike forward from Western Australia will make her Olympic debut in 2012.

Olympic Team: Teneal Attard (QLD), Madonna Blyth (QLD), Fiona Boyce (WA), Jade Close (NSW), Toni Cronk (NSW), Casey Eastham (NSW), Anna Flanagan (ACT), Kate Jenner (NSW), Kobie McGurk (WA), Hope Munro (WA), Georgia Nanscawen (VIC), Ashleigh Nelson (WA), Megan Rivers (NSW), Jodie Schulz (QLD), Emily Smith (NSW), Jayde Taylor(WA).

Topics:  hockeyroos london olympics