Striker fit for Olympic quest
AFTER missing out on Australia’s Commonwealth Games gold medal success, Ipswich hockey player Amy Korner could have finished the year uncertain about her international future.
However, the determined striker used the time off to advantage. She had an operation, rested and recharged in a bid to rebuild her 2012 Olympic hopes.
After representing Australia in this year’s World Cup in Argentina, Korner was an unlucky omission from the Hockeyroos Games team, in part because she had been ill.
But in typical fashion, she has hit back strongly, eager to re-establish her international career next year.
She’s back training with the Queensland Academy of Sport squad since having her gall bladder removed following the World Cup.
“I’m just training very hard at the moment until the end of this week, then we get a week off over Christmas,” she said.
“I had about eight weeks off (after the operation), which was really good.
“It was really refreshing for my body and my mind.”
Korner, 24, is delighted with the condition she’s in after a block of intensive training.
“We’ve been training very hard and we’ve just had all testing over the last week to see where we are at before Christmas,” she said.
“Everything is going well.
“I did a beep test the other day and got the highest beep I’ve ever got.
“I’m feeling good and I’m probably the fittest I’ve been at the moment.”
Flinders View-based Korner is also happy to see a new, neutral coach taking charge of the Hockeyroos.
Former Australian player Adam Commens has replaced long-serving Frank Murray, who retired after the Commonwealth Games in India.
“He offers a fresh look at everything,” Korner said of Commens.
“You’ve just got to try to put yourself in the best possible position.”
Korner’s first chance to impress the new head coach will be in Perth from January 16-21.
Korner, and exciting Ipswich talent Jordyn Holzberger, have been invited to Australia’s hockey headquarters for games and training.
Commens is expected to announce 20 Australian Institute of Sport scholarships and rename the national squad after the camp.
That will lead into an Australian trip to Argentina in February.
“It’s all kind of you don’t really know what’s going to happen at the moment,” Korner said of what Commens was looking for.
“That’s why we have to prepare so well.
“Sixty girls are going over and it’s giving everyone a chance.”
Korner was happy to see Junior World Cup hopeful Holzberger also invited to Perth.
“I think she’s got a great chance of actually making the national squad,” Korner said.
“She’s the fittest I’ve seen her and she’s playing awesome.”
Korner was positive about her prospects of re-selection, having represented Australia in more than 40 international games since debuting in 2005.
“This is kind of my last chance,” said the Wests player, who is aiming for the London Olympics.
“I feel great at the moment.
“It was probably good to have a good break, refocus and start again and to go again.”