Hockey star eyes London

Ipswich teenager Jordyn Holzberger relaxes at home during a recent break from her national hockey commitments.
Ipswich teenager Jordyn Holzberger relaxes at home during a recent break from her national hockey commitments. Sarah Harvey

IPSWICH'S latest Hockeyroos player Jordyn Holzberger was only told hours before the match that she was going to make her national debut.

However, the London Olympics prospect handled the call-up with the confidence she's gained by being on an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship in Perth.

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Preparing to represent Australia A against Korea tonight, Holzberger yesterday reflected on her exciting injection into the Hockeyroos line-up last Friday night.

"They called me that morning and said I might be playing and they'd let me know at 1.30," she said.

"I was already on my way to the Australia A match because I just assumed I'd be playing that one.

"I had to turn around and go home."

However, after being confirmed as a replacement for experienced striker Casey Eastham, Holzberger performed impressively as Australia went on to beat the visiting Koreans 5-0.

"It was a lot faster and there was a lot more running," said Holzberger, 18.

"I had heaps of fun playing.

"It makes me more eager to keep going so I can make a more regular spot in the Hockeyroos."

Holzberger said training regularly with the national squad since March last year had helped her make a comfortable transition from national under-21 player to open representative.

"I had some good feedback and I think it was a lot easier being able to play with the girls as we've had a lot of intersquad games lately," she said.

"It wasn't too nerve-wracking. I was used to how the girls played."

After her national team debut, she backed up the next day to score a goal in Australia A's 2-0 victory over a Korean college side.

Holzberger kept her name in contention for this year's Olympics by backing up for another strong game for Australia A against the Korean national side on Tuesday night in Perth.

Australia A won 3-1.

Holzberger expects to play in the final match of the series tonight between Australia A and Korea.

Being the youngest player to secure an AIS scholarship last year, the former Hancocks player will return to training and conditioning after tonight's game.

Her next series is against the USA on the Sunshine Coast next month. That is, unless she's needed for the Hockeyroos side playing Argentina before then.

"I've had good feedback from the squad matches and training," the Yamanto-based sportswoman said. "I've just got to keep that up and keep my fitness up and see what happens."

As for her Olympic prospects, the rapidly-rising teenager is doing all she can to stay in contention.

"You never really know so you've just got to keep fit, keep training well," she said.

Holzberger appreciated the messages of support she's received since making her debut.

She returned to Perth on February 4 after having a break at home following her first full year at the AIS.

Topics:  hockeyroos, jordyn holzberger, london olympics



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