Holzberger hoping to add world junior trophy to honour list
AFTER years of hard work and sacrifice, Ipswich player Jordyn Holzberger celebrated her latest achievement with a high five and hug.
Being among Australian hockey teammates in Perth when told the news was the next best thing to savouring her magic milestone with family and friends.
However, the Ipswich achiever will catch up with her biggest supporters soon enough after yesterday securing her place in Australia's Junior World Cup squad.
Holzberger's family are heading to Germany next month to watch her represent the Australian Jordyn Holzberger at her first world cup.
The tournament is in Monchengladbach, starting on July 27.
"I'm very excited,'' Holzberger said from her Perth base.
"It only comes around every four years.
"Being under-21s, if you get in that age group, you are lucky. So it's really, really special.''
The classy midfielder had a quiet celebration at team training, sharing the moment with her national teammates.
A holiday in the Greek Islands after the Junior World Cup will give Holzberger a more relaxed chance to reflect on her efforts.
Having lived away from home for two years, the Australian Institute of Sport scholarship-holder has missed out on social outings that other teenagers enjoy.
However, being chosen for the Junior World Cup caps an outstanding 12 months where she also enjoyed international success with the Australian Hockeyroos senior side.
"It's a special experience to play in the green and gold,'' Holzberger, 19, said. "And it's a special group of girls that we have.
"We are like a family, us girls.''
Twenty players will make the trip to Europe with 18 to be confirmed as the final squad.
Having played for the Hockeyroos and Jillaroos in recent years, Holzberger is considered a certainty to play a senior role.
The former Ipswich Girls' Grammar School student is delighted her parents John and Alison are making the trip, along with her brother Ben.
"She has achieved a lot in her young years so she should be pretty proud of herself as well,'' Alison said.
The Junior World Cup is contested by 16 nations.
The Australian women will face New Zealand, India and Russia in Pool C.
The Jillaroos finished fifth at the last Junior World Cup four years ago in Boston. However, Holzberger is hoping the close-knit Aussies go better this time.
"Australia has never won a Junior World Cup before so that's our goal,'' she said.
"We're going over there confident. Hopefully we can come away with a win and make history.''
The squad departs Australia for Germany on July 17 before undertaking a series of pre-tournament practice matches against Germany, Korea and the Netherlands.