International Cup: Swans find their feet…

Following Sunday’s game versus Pakistan the morning was spent doing recovery. It began with a walk around Carlton Gardens before some of the group seeing the physios or completing their own individual recovery. Testament to the high standards that the girls have set themselves, the forward group approached the coaches asking for an extra session of goal kicking to improve. How can any coach say no to that?! So later that afternoon, a small group made their way to Crawford Oval in order to work on this area of their game.


Monday evening saw the girls organise their own social event. During the tournament, the girls have agreed to be alcohol-free, which challenged the girls to think of something a little more creative: ‘The Swan Show’ was born. It challenged small groups to organise some food and entertainment for the rest of the squad as the squad visited each room in turn. It was such a great night! The entertainment varied from a Scottish-themed quiz led by the ever-popular ‘Master’ to party games that everyone could play. In seven years of being involved in the Great Britain set-up it was the best social atmosphere that I have experienced.


Tuesday was a physically demanding day but the girls were still buzzing from the previous evening’s activity and sailed through their morning training session, actually asking for the session to be extended! That evening we were lucky that Lauren Spark had organised for us to train with her Melbourne University side at Arden Street. We were privy to their video analysis from the coaching team which was really insightful and we were so grateful for that opportunity.


The Fiji game was highly anticipated and the girls awoke in good spirits; with the right balance of respect for our tough-tackling opponents but confidence in our own abilities. We were treated to a glorious sunny day down on the Mornington Peninsula as we took part in the School’s Round of the competition and we were truly made to feel special by our hosts for the day, Peninsula Grammar. From the moment we arrived, the students wanted to speak to us all and were very vocal in their support. The girls were delighted that they even had a banner to run through! Fiji started slowly and we kicked our way out to a four-goal lead by half-time but the Fijians kept coming and kept us within striking distance. With only around 8 minutes left the Fijians had clawed our lead back to only three points when key forward Caroline Sellar had a kick from straight out in front. When that sailed through it gave the girls the timely boost needed to see the game out. Both squads were in good spirits at the small function laid on by the school and it was a great end to a very positive day for the Swans.



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