Tour Update: Champions Challenge Dublin Ireland
It has been a long time between posts but I can now proudly add another ‘tour update’ to my website. Ireland Dublin is the current location of the Hockeyroos and in a few days time we will be competing in the Electric Ireland Champions Challenge.
This tournament is crucial for the Hockeyroos. In order to qualify for the next Champions Trophy we must win the tournament. Eight teams are competing here including India, Belgium, Wales (pool ‘A’ with us) South Africa, USA, Ireland and Scotland (pool ‘B’). The tournament involves round games, quarter finals, semi finals and a grand final. The schedule can be found here if you are interested.
I have not been on a tour since April and in that time I some how managed to forget how crazy and fun these girls are. All we do is laugh while on tour. Well that as well as a lot of training sessions and meetings. The lunch or dinner table is the place where many stories are shared, jokes told and numerous random comments from Flanno are laughed at. What a classic that girl is.
We have been in Ireland for a week now and so far so good. We are in a lovely hotel not far from the field which is at University College Dublin. Day two we learnt that they design their pitches quite well over here. It rained all night and then constantly throughout the day yet there was not a single puddle on the field. Excellent drainage luckily!!
Besides gym and some training sessions we have also played three games as part of our preparation. First up were the hosts Ireland. We had a good 3-0 win which was all the more memorable for Karri McMahon who made her debut and Kate Jenner who played her fiftieth international. It was my first game in five months so I was equally as excited to be out there and pleased to walk away with a clean sheet. Next up was India who are now coached by West Australian Institute of Sport hockey coach Neil Hawgood. We beat them 4-0 in another strong performance. Our final lead up game was against South Africa who we also beat 4-0. A quiet game for me at the back but there was plenty of action up front. Claire Messent scored a ripper goal in the first half and Emily Smith clocked up her fifth goal for the tour so far. Not a bad effort from the young striker. One day of training to go then we will get stuck into the tournament. I cant wait!
Below are a few photos from the tour so far. I will hopefully have so more good results to share with you shortly. Stay tuned.