November 7 2011. The date the Olympic squad was to be announced. This date for many of us would determine what we would do, where we would live and what life held for us in the next six to eight months. For me, this was case. I’m a fringe player. I wouldn’t have put my bets on it going either way. I could only hope. And that is what I did.
The previous month had been jam packed with games. Our final chance to impress. As I mentioned in my last blog I had been selected to play in two test series throughout October. The first being a four test series vs India held in Mandurah and Rockingham, just south of Perth. The second being a six test series vs China of which a squad of about 40 played between two and four games.
Both series I found a bit of form. Against India I got my first opportunity to dragflick on a PC and to my delight I scored. One from one, can’t complain. Although my 100% record didn’t last long I did manage to score one or two others over the the next few games. We ended up winning the four test series.
Between this series and the China series was the Lanco International Super Series that I mentioned last blog. I wasn’t involved in these games but it was exciting all the same. The style of game suited the men much more than the women. As much as I hate to say it, it was much more exciting watching the men rather than the women. But I suppose this can’t really be helped when naturally they are fitter, faster and more skilful, so with a combination of these it was bound to be more exciting. My Dad actually came to Perth to visit me during this series. I hadn’t seen him since April/May so it was really nice to actually spend some time with him rather than the usual Skype conversations.
Sadly he had to return to Sydney for work just as I left for Busselton to play in my last two games for 2011. These were my last two games to prove I was worthy of a spot in the 2012 Olympic Squad. Actually my last game was probably the best I had had in a while so I felt satisfied that I was going out on a good note and whatever was to be, would be.
So come November 7 I was in Yallingup, south west of Perth, beach side with one of my best friends when the email came through. And this time my name was on the list. The 2012 Olympic squad list. Relief. Excitement. All of the above emotions. But really more than anything I was just glad that I knew what I would be doing in a few weeks time. I, of course, had thought about a plan B if I hadn’t made it, but not in any detail, so to have a plan in place was a very good feeling.
We are now all back in training. We have been given a few weeks away from the hockey scene to come home and do our physical training ourselves before we all return to Perth at the end of the month to really get our London 2012 campaign underway. The next six to eight months will be physically, mentally and emotionally challenging as ever before. But bring it on I say. Can’t wait.
I look forward to blogging now that I am actually on the road to London.
’There’s no time like the present’