After a sterling start to the season which has seen Surbiton rise to the top of the Investec Women’s Premier Division, Georgie Twigg and her international team mates have returned to their full time training schedule at Bisham Abbey. England Hockey caught up with her to find out how the international squad are shaping up and how she feels about the challenges ahead.
“Training’s going well. It’s been very tiring and we’re being worked hard but we know this block before Christmas is the hard slog. We know we need to put the hard yards in now so that next year for the Olympic qualifiers it pays off. There’s a really good buzz around the squad and a really good vibe in training, everyone’s really positive moving forward.” said the 23-year-old.
The group are now under the watchful eye of Danny Kerry, in his second stint as the Women’s Head Coach. Whilst the summer and in particular the World Cup were a turbulent time the Surbiton midfielder is positive about the current set up:
“Danny’s slotted back in very easily and I think he’s been impressed with how the squad has knuckled down and got straight into the task at hand. We know that we don’t have loads of training before the big tournaments so we’ve had to really buckle down to ensure we’re as prepared as possible. We’re really enjoying the training at the moment and we’re happy with how we’re progressing.”
The first test on the horizon for Twigg and her England team mates is the Champions Trophy in Mendoza, Argentina, beginning at the end of November. With the top sides in the world all competing for the title, it is a daunting competition, a fact that is not lost on the Olympic Bronze medallist:
“It’s a tough group with Argentina and Australia but the whole tournament is full of great teams. It’s fantastic preparation for next year and a good indicator for where the squad is in terms of our development. We’re fully aware how hard it’ll be but hopefully all the training and test matches we have will stand us in good stead.” she added “We haven’t discussed specific aims for the tournament yet but obviously as a player you want to win every tournament you play in. For us, though our focus is the Olympic qualifiers.”
The Road to Rio is a theme that cannot be avoided at this stage, which also prompts the topic of playing as Great Britain to crop up:
“We try hard to make sure the programme is a GB programme because our ultimate aim is Rio. It’s a shame for the Champion’s Trophy we are in as England because I’m sure some of the non-English players would really help us out! Everyone’s pushing for positions in the group no matter what their nationality. We’ll go to the tournament as England but we’ll return and be fully into GB training again straight away and fully focused on getting things right and trying to qualify for Rio.”
England’s first game in the Champions Trophy is against old foes Australia on 29 November.