WORKING HARD: Ipswich and Australian under-21 player Jordyn Holzberger tries to contain a Spanish player during the recent Junior World Cup playoffs.
WORKING HARD: Ipswich and Australian under-21 player Jordyn Holzberger tries to contain a Spanish player during the recent Junior World Cup playoffs. Frank Uijlenbroekworld Sport Pics

Holzberger plots a plan for more internationals

BUSY Ipswich hockey player Jordyn Holzberger enjoyed getting a tan in Greece before a short trip home after the recent Junior World Cup.

The 10-day holiday with some Australian under-21 teammates helped ease the disappointment of missing out on a medal in Germany.

Returning to Ipswich for her best friend Kari Coombes' 21st birthday also provided some rare relaxation time.

However, the break from training and playing had much more importance.

It helped the dedicated midfielder get her mind off hockey before refocusing on another hectic 18 months ahead.

Holzberger, who turns 20 on Tuesday, will concentrate on playing more international matches for the Hockeyroos senior side after completing her under-21 commitments.

She's already lined up 26 times in senior ranks, sharing in some fine Hockeyroos' moments in Australia and overseas.

The fast-approaching 2014 is another peak year with the World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy tournaments.

"It definitely feels at home," she said about returning to Australia's open squad.

"It was good to have that (under-21) experience. Now I'm focusing on senior stuff and see where that goes."

Her Hockeyroos goals for next year include the World Cup in Holland (June), Commonwealth Games in Scotland (July/August) and Champions Trophy in Argentina (November/December).

Back in Perth at the Australian Institute of Sport, Holzberger is also preparing to represent Queensland in the national league in Hobart starting late September.

That's followed by the International Super Series in Perth (October) and Oceania Tour to New Zealand (October/November).

The Ipswich sportswoman said playing in Monchengladbach Germany was memorable, despite the Jillaroos finishing sixth after 1-0 losses to England and Spain in the playoff games.

"It didn't show how well we played over there, which was disappointing," she said.

"But the experience was so good and I think everyone learnt a lot from it. Just to be part of a major tournament like that."

The former Ipswich Girls' Grammar School student was part of Australia's leadership group.

She captained Australia for the England game.

The Jillaroos were unlucky to miss the medal finals, having been undefeated in their pool games.

"The first three games we did really well, we got goals," she said. "Towards the back end, we just couldn't put them in."

Despite the on-field disappointment, she soaked up the atmosphere, including the loud European supporters playing drums and xylophones.

"The venue was amazing, the stadium was huge," she said.

"I hadn't been in a stadium that big ever."

Holzberger's supportive parents John and Alison and her brother Ben also made the trip.



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