UK trip boost for Ipswich achiever
SINCE making her Australian debut in 2012, Jordyn Holzberger has endured a rollercoaster ride in hockey.
She's played 34 times for the Hockeyroos, also wearing the green and gold with national under-21 and under-23 sides.
In between those highs, the Ipswich achiever has suffered some untimely injury setbacks, including back soreness which restricted her representative progress last year.
However, a successful trip to England last month provided the motivation and boost Holzberger needed to break back into Australia's top women's hockey unit.
"I was pretty happy with how I played,'' the midfielder said at her Yamanto base.
"I didn't have any injuries over there, which was good. I'm injury-free, touch wood.''
Holzberger played in all the Australian under-23 matches during a Three-Nations tournament involving Great Britain and Holland.
The Aussie women beat the home side 6-0 after an early draw, and also defeated Holland.
For Holzberger, it was a mixture of relief and reassurance as she looks to rebuild her Hockeyroos career after the current team completes its Rio Olympics campaign.
"This reminds us that when we put on the green and gold, it is something that doesn't happen often and it's always a good feeling to put it back on,'' she said.
"That's really what you do it for and what all the training is for. It definitely motivates me.''
The Ipswich-bred sportswoman hopes to re-establish herself in the Australian open side after the Women's Australian Hockey League competition in Perth in September/October.
"There's going to be a new coach after the Olympics come in,'' she said. "Depending who it is, it will be good to get a fresh set of eyes onto everyone.
"I'm definitely looking to try and impress and hopefully get back over to Perth.''
That's where the Hockeyroos squad is based. Holzberger knows the set-up well having served a four-year scholarship in Perth.
"There's always opportunities to go back over,'' the former Ipswich Girls' Grammar School student said.
Apart from her latest trip to Nottingham in England, she's played in New Zealand, Holland, Germany, India, China, Japan, Singapore, Belgium and South Africa.
Each tour has provided highlights, especially "experiencing the different cultures''.
Having represented Queensland since she was 16, Holzberger is still in the QAS squad, along with being in national development programs.
At the back of her mind is the chance to represent Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.
"It would be good to play with the Hockeyroos in front of the home crowd,'' said Holzberger, who turns 23 next month.
However, for this year, her focus is on the national league and managing her busy schedule.
She's in her first year studying a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in accounting) while also working part-time with Brisbane Roar doing membership and ticketing for the new A-League season.
"I've always liked numbers,'' the former Hancock Brothers player said.
As she sits at a table ready to do more study, Holzberger offers a valuable insight into why she remains committed to hockey.
"Playing any team sport, or sport in general, it just teaches you how to motivate yourself and how to work with other people,'' she said.
"It's a different world.
"You sacrifice a lot more than the average person. And schedule wise, you have to manage your time a lot more.''
Holzberger thanks her parents John and Alison for so much support.
QAS coach Des King is another person to have helped her during tough times.
And that's why representing Australia is so important.
Holzberger made her Hockeyroos debut on March 9, 2012. Australia beat Korea 5-0.