Pressure on Hockeyroos to win Comm gold
New Hockeyroos skipper Emily Smith admits she's feeling the pressure to maintain the side's Commonwealth Games golden run but she's confident her teammates will produce the goods.
The Hockeyroos will be gunning for a fourth straight Games gold medal on the Gold Coast next month but will have to buck the rankings to do so.
They're currently ranked fifth in the world - below England (2nd) and New Zealand (4th).
Even so, the pressure is on to win gold on home turf.
Smith, who took over as skipper late last year, is well aware of the expectations.
"Please don't remind me. I'm not going to sleep for another three weeks," she said with a laugh.
"I have thought about it. It does put that little bit of added pressure.
"But there's nothing much else you can do. We've already done the key stuff
"So (the key is) being able to hold our heads calm under the pressure and not let the enormity of the event get to us."
The Hockeyroos' 2016 Olympic dreams were dashed in a 4-2 quarterfinals loss to NZ in Rio. Great Britain went on to win gold.
Smith said the rivalry between the Hockeyroos and England/NZ was similar to that seen in cricket.
"It's exactly the same. We hate it (when we lose)," she said.
"England have got a team full of recent gold medallists
"NZ beat us at the Olympics but the last couple of times we've beaten them.
"So we've got the edge at the moment. We just have to go out there and score early and put them under pressure and hopefully they crumble under the pressure."
The Hockeyroos have selected a youthful squad featuring 10 Commonwealth Games debutants.
Smith said the younger players had brought infectious excitement to the rest of the group.
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