Jillaroos on fire against Japan
Australia's promising young female hockey players, including three from the SA Sports Institute, enjoyed a taste of international competition against Japan recently - finishing the series unbeaten.
THE Australian junior women's hockey team, the Jillaroos, showed a glimpse of their prowess with an outstanding unbeaten series against Japan in Canberra recently.
Three of the 20-person team were SASI scholars - Hattie Shand, Emma de Broughe and Amy Hammond, who was selected for the Jillarooos for the first time .
The Jillaroos squad went through an intense training program before the four-match series kicked off.
Two of the team's wins were in penalty shoot outs, while the other games went the home side's way 5-1 and 5-0 with all matches played over five days.
Shand, one of SASI and Australia's rising hockey stars, said the experience was fantastic.
"I absolutely loved it," Shand said. "It was super competitive with the five days of the national junior camp preceding the series against Japan.
"We completed fitness testing across the first two days with training as well which really put us through our paces.
"We worked hard on our structures and set plays in preparation for the series.
"The first game was pretty close but we worked into the series and got the results we were after.
"I'm off to Perth next week as part of a visiting athlete agreement (with the Hockeyroos) which is super exciting.''
Jillaroos and SASI Head Coach Tim White said the program had been a winner.
"I think what the girls have done a really good job at is that every athlete from the national junior squad who was at the camp got a lot out of it," White said.
"This was a demanding series and it comes off the back of a national training camp so part of the reasons for this is to see and understand their ability in this kind of environment.
"You can't solve everything in match one so what has impressed me is that this group has identified and worked on areas for improvement and really pushed the style of play we are looking for.''
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