Hockeyroos make believers of themselves - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hockeyroos make believers of themselves

By Morgan Beck 07/12/2003 07:09:49 PM Comments (0)

Finally the Hockeyroos have the big tournament title to convince them a third consecutive Olympic goal medal really can be won in Athens next year.

Captain Katrina Powell made no secret of the psychological importance of Sunday's nerve-wracking 3-2 win over China in the final of the Champions Trophy for the world's top six nations in Sydney.

A three goal blitz in the opening 15 minutes by Julie Towers, Suzie Faulkner and Peta Gallagher laid the platform for victory against defending champion China and ended the Hockeyroos' worst Champions Trophy title drought.

It also showed that this team, filled with a host of new faces and a new coach since the Sydney Olympic gold in 2000, has the potential to once again climb to the sport's highest pinnacle.

Powell, one of the few veterans left from the team that dominated hockey last decade winning back to back Olympic gold and every Champions Trophy through the 90s, believed all the hard work was finally starting to take hold.

"It's been a tough three years," said the 31-year-old striker, who finished the tournament top goal scorer with four. "We have worked really hard to get to where we are from almost nothing.

"From having a completely new off-field group to a majority of the squad being changed.

"This group hasn't had as much success so everybody gets very excited with the small things along the way we do achieve. Now finally we a victory that we can take some belief in and comfort for next year."

It's the Hockeyroos first major victory since 2000, and follows on from last year when Australia failed to win a Champions Trophy medal of any colour for the first time.

Coach David Bell never seems to get too excited but finally he must feel that his blend of experience and youth has what last year no one would have believed.

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