Ipswich player's boost for Commonwealth Games
EVER-busy Commonwealth Games prospect Jordyn Holzberger will enjoy a relaxing Christmas with her family before preparing for what could be the biggest year in her hockey career.
She's hoping to make the final cut to represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April, before focusing on the 2018 World Cup in England.
Holzberger, 24, has been named in the latest 25-strong national senior women's squad in line for both major international tournaments.
Despite a recent injury setback, the Ipswich product is ready.
"Everything is pretty good,'' Holzberger said having recovered from a torn hamstring injury two months ago.
"I'm just trying to plan that move over to Perth at the moment.''
That's where she'll return in January to join the Hockeyroos squad finalising preparations for the Commonwealth Games.
With 54 international matches to her credit, Holzberger has her best chance yet of being selected for her first Games team.
"Definitely, it's good to retain my spot again from last year,'' the attacking midfielder/striker said.
"It's very exciting. I'm very happy.''
However, the former Ipswich Girls' Grammar School student is taking nothing for granted.
She's been living in Brisbane this year to consolidate her training with the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Holzberger was looking for another big Women's Australian Hockey League campaign in late September/early October having been named player of the final the previous year.
However, she suffered a blow, tearing her hamstring playing in her fourth game for Queensland against the ACT in Perth.
"It was pretty frustrating because we had a number of tournaments at the end of the year,'' she said.
"I'd never done a hammie before.''
Among the tournaments she missed was the recent Oceania Cup series in Sydney. She's yet to return for Australia after undergoing rehabilitation on her injury.
However, she's keen to rejoin the Aussie side for a five-Test series against Spain in Perth next month.
"I'm back to full training now,'' Holzberger said.
"I'm fully recovered now.''
It will be during that Test series and at a national squad camp that the final Hockeyroos team will be chosen for the Commonwealth Games.
The former Hancock Brothers midfielder was happy how her year started before the early end to this year's national league campaign.
She now has the Commonwealth Games firmly in her sights.
"It's been pretty full-on,'' she said.
"It's pretty tough at the moment, a lot of hard running and physical stuff to get us as fit as possible going into Com Games.
"It's been pretty intense, which is good.''
The Ipswich achiever was encouraged by some positive recent performances by her Hockeyroos teammates.
"Our main focus (as a team) at the moment is just working on our fitness and just getting as fit and strong as we can in the lead-up to Com Games and World Cup,'' she said.
"The girls got good results in Melbourne and Adelaide but we still have a little bit to go to be at the level of the Dutch. We're slowly getting there.''
Before her hamstring injury, Holzberger continued her regular travelling, including representing Australia in the Hawkes Bay Cup tournament in New Zealand.
She was happy with her progress during that series.
She's now played in a multitude of countries including England, Belgium, Holland, Germany, India, South Africa, China and Japan.
"I don't mind it. It's always good to get out and see the world . . . and experience different cultures,'' she said.
The Ipswich-bred sportswoman plans to join her family for Christmas, including a holiday at the coast before heading to Perth.
She's also enjoying her casual work with A-League club Brisbane Roar, helping with membership and ticketing.
"I like it there,'' she said.
"It's good fun and they are very understanding of my commitments being a sporting organisation, so that's always good.''