Flanagan, Claxton, Nanscawen & Spence answer the questions
On the eve of the Junior World Cup, we bring you an insight into life as a Jillaroo from four of the athletes hoping to bring home the biggest prize in junior hockey. Jane Claxton, Georgia Nanscawen, Amelia Spence and 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year Anna Flanagan (pictured) answer the questions and throw some light on what it is like to be a Jillaroo.
What have you been doing to prepare for the Junior World Cup?
Anna Flanagan: We have had a number of tours and training camps to come together and practice as a team. We have worked really hard on technical skills in our home states, tactical structures when together, and building a winning culture.
Jane Claxton: We’ve also been trying to get a good nutrition plan going. Being in the Perth environment and training with the senior Hockeyroos squad has also helped with our more hockey-specific areas such as skill, conditioning and strength development.
Georgia Nanscawen: It’s been a pretty busy few weeks for us. As a member of the Hockeyroos team that competed at World League in London, it felt like I had only just returned from a month away and I was back on the flight to Europe. As soon as we stepped off the plane in Australia following World League we were placed on a strict recovery/training schedule to get us best prepared to travel again for JWC.
What has the support of your family been like while you’ve been preparing for the JWC?
Amelia Spence: The support from my family is amazing and always has been, no matter what aspect of my life. They have been really supportive and helpful with my move to Perth and are always there when I need them through the ups and downs of my prep for JWC.
JC: Their support is always unwavering through all aspects of my life, so it has certainly not changed but JWC may have given them extra incentive since they get to travel internationally now to watch me, haha!
AF: My family are a huge support and will be there cheering us on in Germany. I am fortunate they come watch a lot of my hockey and saw me play in the last Junior World Cup in Boston.
GN: My family have always been very supportive of me throughout my hockey career. I know I certainly wouldn't be in the position I am now if it wasn't for them. Although my family still lives in Melbourne and I am in Perth they are still only a phone call away whenever I need anything, even if it is just for a chat.
Sum up your feelings ahead of the Junior World Cup in three words
AF: Excited, Confident, Prepared
JC: "We always score"- Jillas moto
GN: Prepared, excited, nervous
AS: Excited, nervous, pumped
What are your top five ‘must have’ things you can’t do without when on tour with the team? (other than your hockey stick and hockey kit)
AF: iPhone, I'm addicted! iPod speakers for the change rooms; Hair straightener and yellow ribbon; a hard drive with good TV series and movies, and my laptop so I can write [Anna’s blogging for us during the competition, too, so don’t miss that].
JC: Ugg boots; 1000 bobby pins; 1000 hair ties
GN: iPhone, Macbook, Passport (wouldn't get very far without that), book to write team notes etc in, air freshener [Presumably in case she ends up rooming with a goalkeeper].
AS: Phone, laptop, diet coke, headphones and emergency coffee
Give us the inside scoop on Craig Victory, what’s he like as coach?
JC: Who's Craig??? Jig (Jiggles) is not a huge fan of being referred to as "Craig". He built and lives our hills culture, serving as a great role model for all of the team.
AS: He’s a great coach, very passionate, who loves to get involved in trainings often a little too much resulting in him stacking it!
GN: Yeah, he likes to have a laugh with us, but is also able to give a hard message when he needs to. I think secretly (or maybe not so secretly) he loves it when we are a player short when we play games because it means he gets to join in, which is always a bit of fun. He also has pretty good dress sense, which is very important in a head coach.
AF: He has an outrageous collection of shoes and will be seen at training in everything from fluorescent yellow runners to black high tops.
We had no idea that a key condition of employment as Jillaroos coach was fashion sense.
What’s the most embarrassing moment you’ve had in hockey?
AF: Too many... recently at training I stacked it in the dugout and split open my knee. I have taken my shin pads off at half time thinking the game was over and when I scored the winning goal against Germany at London Cup last year I thought it was the equaliser.
GN: I always seem to have a habit of wearing a white t-shirt to training when it is raining. One particular session in absolutely bucketed down and my t-shirt went very see through. Everyone had a bit of a laugh at my expense.
AS: I lost one of my fake teeth on tour…I’m not THAT old! I just happened to have lost the real one thanks to a hockey stick to the mouth.
Who is your sporting idol and why?
JC: Steven Bradbury or Anna Meares , both athletes who may not have been naturally skilled in their field and went to hell and back to prove that hard work and determination to succeed supersedes anything and anyone.
AS: Anderson Silva, a fighter in the UFC. I believe they train and work harder than any other sport. They have to be so mentally resilient to have cut weight and push the physical and mental boundaries. I respect the huge amount of preparation that is done to prepare for their next fight.
AF: Roger Federer for getting and staying at the top of his game for so long.
GN: Roger Federer. Do I really need a reason why?
Finally, the question everyone wants to know the answer to. If you were on the Great Australian Bake Off, what would be your signature dish and why?
AF: If I was on that show I would definitely be a judge because I can't bake... Eating on the other hand comes much more naturally!
JC: Nutella ganache cake or Oreo cheese cake slice
GN: Paleo choc-orange cheesecake. It is pretty yum, and you don't feel that guilty about eating it.
AS: Cookies, I make a good batch of cookies!
The Jillaroos' first Junior World Cup clash comes against India on Saturday evening (10:30pm AEST). There's no streaming or broadcast coverage available from the tournament but we'll be bringing reports and insight from the Junior World Cup here on the Hockey Australia website and through our social media channels.
Hockey Australia media release