The Women’s Black Sticks team enjoyed just one week off following it’s heroic gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games.

“I’ve been home in Whangarei and the medal’s been take around by my parents to the local gym and everything which was pretty cool,” said defender Brooke Neal.

“I don’t think the win will fully sink in for a long time, it’s been amazing for it to continue on with everyone wanting to see medal and celebrate with us.”

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Above: Brooke Neal at the Commonwealth Games

The team is now back in training mode with another major tournament just around the corner.

“We’ve got the World Cup in London which begins in late July. It only comes around every four years and all the top teams in the world are there so we have to step up.

“The next few weeks will be really important for us and we’ve got to fine tune everything which went well for us at the Commonwealth Games.”

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To prepare the team is training fulltime and will play in a tri series against Australia and Japan in Cromwell in May.

“It’s definitely going to be colder down there especially after the temperatures we played in during the Commonwealth Games so we’ll pack the thermals!” said Neal.

The team has gained confidence from the Commonwealth Games win but goes into the World Cup as the fourth ranked team.

“It’s about celebrating that win and soaking it up but also taking the learnings from that campaign and focussing on this next campaign.

“We need to take that confidence and use it to keep the ball rolling. We’ve definitely learnt how to step up in the big games so we’ll take that confidence through to the World Cup,” said Neal.

The Women’s Hockey World Cup begins July 21st. New Zealand will take on Belgium, Japan and Australia in pool play.

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Brooke Neal
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