Independence concerns spark changes to Hockeyroos review panel

Three new people have been appointed to lead a review into problems with the culture in the Hockeyroos camp after players had concerns about potential conflicts of interests of those initially tasked with the job.

Hockey Australia has announced that Bruce Collins QC, AFL commissioner Gabrielle Trainor and former Matildas player and FIFA Council member Moya Dodd will take over the review on behalf of the Australian Sports Commission, from lawyer Richard Redman and Ernst & Young Partner Adam Carrel.

The Hockeyroos made headlines in December over claims about a “destructive” culture. Credit:Getty Images

Collins, Dodd and Trainor have been appointed following player misgivings about Redman and Carrel's links to staff at Hockey Australia, including chief executive Matt Favier, sources close to the playing group said.

The review was initially announced on December 10 after a tumultuous period in the Hockeyroos camp, which included the resignation of the team's captains and the dropping of key players.

That came days after The Age and Sydney Morning Herald revealed Hockeyroos players and staff had raised concerns about a “destructive” culture within the camp and a lack of confidence in non-playing leadership as early as 2017.

Control of the review was then handed over to independent government body Sports Integrity Australia a week after it was announced, with the removal of Redman and Carrel an extra step in ensuring its independence.

"It has always been Hockey Australia's intention that this review be robust, transparent and independent," Hockey Australia president Melanie Woosnam said.

"The establishment of a review panel led by Bruce Collins QC makes it clear that these principles are fundamental to the board."

Current players and staff as well as former players and staff were interviewed as part of the review through late December.

The full findings, which won't be made public, were scheduled to be handed to the Hockey Australia board in February. It is unclear if this will now be delayed.

"Since their gold medal successes at past Olympic Games the Australian Hockeyroos have been the standard against which other sports programs have been measured. Hockey Australia is determined to maintain the Hockeyroos' standards in every respect and I am fortunate to have two outstanding Australians sitting together with me on this review," Collins said.

Despite the unrest, the Hockeyroos are ranked No.4 in the world. The Hockeyroos have won three Olympic gold medals (1988, 1996 and 2000) and finished sixth at Rio 2016.

Georgina Morgan and International Hockey Federation goalkeeper of the year Rachael Lynch were dropped from the squad in November and have lodged formal appeals against that decision.

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