Cheering, clapping and squealing. Watching our team-mates play in round one in Glendale, this is pretty much all you could hear from the group of girls back in Sydney.
If you watched the games, the Aussie girls shifted the ball across the park with such ease, finding holes in the defence and creating holes when there wasn’t any. Even when they didn’t have the ball in their hands their defence was equally as impressive to watch. I felt so proud watching them play after seeing all of the hard work they had put in during preseason.
We hadn’t found ourselves in a final since Langford in May, so it was pretty exciting for the girls to be in the big one in Colorado. Back home we all did our rehab run early in the morning so that we were finished training by the time the final was played. While the end result wasn’t what we were all hoping for we were certainly on the right track. A few missed opportunities and the USA capitalising on theirs meant that we went down 26-7.
Since then we have done plenty of work at training and even had a mini heat camp with some of the girls playing in the Oceania tournament in Fiji. With both the heat and humidity being pretty high in Fiji it was a great opportunity to get in some heat training and game time in those conditions. To top the trip off the girls came home as champions for the second consecutive year!
Crazy energy in Dubai
While the fit girls were in Fiji training and playing, team rehab back home also did some heat training, However, it was a little different. Thanks to our super resourceful coaches that think outside the box, we got just as much (not really) heat training in. We wore our skins and tracksuits while doing our x-trains, (mine was on the bike) and my goodness did we work up our own sweat.
All this heat training, of course, is in preparation for Dubai … and in the long-term, Tokyo. But first it’s Dubai and the following week Cape Town. This will be our first back-to-back tournaments since 2016 and what a banger it is. I am devastated that I won’t be heading over to play but am so excited for the team. I will be cheering, clapping and squealing with the rest of team rehab from back home.
Being a double tournament, the girls are all going to have to be able to back up the week after and perform, which will definitely be tough on their bodies, but everyone is going to be in the same boat. All of our training that we have been doing has been stepped up a level to prep the team for the back-to-back legs. The girls have done all of the preparation and all that is left is for the them to put it into to practice and light up the field.
Dubai is an epic tournament, one of my absolute favourites to play in. The stadium is in the middle of nowhere and for any Harry Potter fans out there, it looks very similar to a quidditch stadium. With so many athletes there playing in both the men’s and women’s world series, as well as hundreds playing in the rugby invitational tournaments and the netball, the energy is crazy.
What makes this Dubai round even more exciting is that we have two debutants!
Growing rehab club
Georgia Hannaway and Faith Nathan will both be making their debut next week. Both of the girls came through our AON University pathway and really stood out. Now they will be taking to the world stage where I have every bit of confidence that they are going to kill it.
On a sadder note, our rehab crew has grown a bit with Lily Dick breaking her foot and, more recently, Charlotte Caslick tearing her hamstring tendon. This is a bit of a blow to our team but in saying this we have such a strong group of girls that are constantly lifting the bar and stepping up to the occasion.
Following Dubai, the next tournament in Cape Town is going to be pretty special as it’s the first time the women’s series has been held there. EPIC! I’m especially sad about missing out on this one – Cape Town 2020, I’m coming!
Returning from Cape Town we have one more week of training before our little break of Christmas. Then it will be 2020, OLYMPIC YEAR, where we kick off with another pair of back-to-back tournaments alongside the men in Hamilton and Sydney.
This season just keeps getting better and better, I know it’s only the start but I’m just super-duper excited!
“If you prepare yourself at every point as well as you can … you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears.” – Eleanor Roosevelt