In the latest of a series of video interviews with the teams that will participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, Australia’s (FIH World Ranking: 2) Emily Chalker gives her thoughts about her team’s crucial two-game clash against Russia (WR:19). The all-important matches will take place in Perth, Australia on 25/26 October 2019, with timings to be confirmed in the coming weeks. A transcription of the interview can be found below.
The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be taking place very soon. How will your team prepare for these hugely important matches?
Emily Chalker: “I guess we’ve got a bit of work to do after a disappointing loss [in the Oceania Cup], not qualifying directly, but I guess that is inspiring our team to do everything in our power in the coming months to make sure we are fully prepared for these games against Russia.”
What can we expect to see from your team in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers?
Emily Chalker: “A very determined, steely group. As I mentioned, the disappointment will drive us, but also, we have just got to focus on our game. We’ve got to improve our defensive circle and attacking circle outcomes. That is something we are focussing on over the next two months to make sure we’re scoring the goals and saving the ones we need to in order to get our spot at the Tokyo Olympics.”
What are your thoughts about facing Russia, your opponents in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, and how is your squad feeling about these matches?
Emily Chalker: “Russia is an unknown team to us; I’ve personally never played them before or ever seen them at a tournament. Initially, [we will do] a little bit of research to work out their game plans. They’ve had some mixed results in the last couple of months in the Euros [where they finished 7th], so we are confident going out against Russia but it is an unknown and something we have to be switched on for.”
Finally, what would qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 mean to you and your team?
Emily Chalker: “Obviously you want to earn your spot at the Olympic Games; it is what we train for day in, day out. It is what you dream of as a little girl when you are playing the sport, so that is the passion and drive that we have. Our determination to get there is going to be second to none, and we’ll be making sure we are putting our best foot forward in every game to ensure we qualify.”
Each qualifier consists of two back-to-back matches which will be played in the same venue. The winners of these FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments which will be staged in Japan’s capital city next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.
For complete information about the men’s and women’s draw for the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, .
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