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FIH Pro League: Robertson relishing busy summer of hockey

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 April 2019

Sarah Robertson (pic Gordon Pettigrew/Worldsportpics.com)

Sarah Robertson (pic Gordon Pettigrew/Worldsportpics.com)

WORLDSPORTPICS.COM/GORDON PETTIGREW

Hampstead & Westminster's Sarah Robertson is relishing a busy summer of hockey as Great Britain prepare for a run of home fixtures in the FIH Pro League.

Sarah Robertson in action for GB against 
New Zealand (pic Simon Watts/WorldSportPics)Sarah Robertson in action for GB against New Zealand (pic Simon Watts/WorldSportPics)

The women began their schedule in the new competition 12,000 miles away from home in January with losses to New Zealand and Australia.

They bounced back to claim a penalty shoot-out win in China, then got the better of the USA last month, before a battling defeat against Argentina in Rosario.

And Robertson, with a combined 118 caps for GB and Scotland to her name already at the age of 25, admits it has taken a little bit of adjusting to for players more used to intense weeks of international tournament play.

“It's changed the way we work. For the big away fixtures, we're arriving a week before and training the whole week, spending it preparing for one game,” she said.

Sarah RobertsonSarah Robertson

“The level of scouting on the opposition is way more. But then you can give your absolute maximum effort in the game and have the week off.

“I like it. It has been a hard start to the year, with all five of the furthest away matches.

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“But now we're picking up more frequently and having eight home games will be amazing. It will be exciting to see how it's perceived.”

GB take on Germany this week, before making their first appearance in the competition at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre against the USA on Saturday, followed by a visit from China.

And Robertson feels the squad are developing well under new head coach Mark Hager, since Danny Kerry's move to the men's programme.

“We're picking up momentum and feel good as a squad,” she added.

“We've got Germany away, then the USA and China at home for our first three games and we're targeting nine points.

“It's exciting times. When we play the double-headers with the men it will be brilliant and then we've got the last game against New Zealand at the Stoop.

“Our first game was against them and didn't go too well, but we hope to end it better. But you're still trying to stay fit for tournament hockey. We've got the Europeans later this summer and then hopefully the Olympics next year.”

The Tokyo 2020 Games might well be starting to creep into the consciousness of players and coaches, but first things first as GB look to enjoy some home comforts in front of their own fans in their quest for a top-four finish in the Pro League.

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