Defroand 'delighted' to get Commonwealth Games call
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 March 2018
Former Coopers pupil Emily Defroand was delighted to earn a call-up to the England women's team this week for the Commonwealth Games in Australia next month.
Defroand, 23, flies out to the Gold Coast as part of a 16-strong squad tomorrow (Saturday) and cannot wait to get started.
“I am thrilled to have been selected for the Commonwealth Games, my first multi-sport event,” said Defroand, who was part of the Great Britain squad on a recent tour of Argentina.
“It is a sporting event I have grown up watching and I don’t think it has sunk in that I will be representing Team England in the beautiful Gold Coast.
“To have England, Wales and Scotland competing in the men and women’s hockey for the first time is a fantastic advertisement for Great Britain and a true testament of the investment and hard work of the home nations in excelling and building the sport.
“We have worked very hard over the last few months and even though some of our on-pitch preparation has been disrupted by the bad weather, we have continued to make huge gains in the gym and are feeling confident that our hard work at Bisham Abbey will stand us in good stead going into the tournament.
“We will take every game as it comes and stepping on to the pitch for our first game against South Africa (April 5) we will know we have prepared ourselves thoroughly and diligently, as always, with the results then taking care of themselves.”
England will also take on Wales, India and Malaysia in their five-team group and the women are aiming for gold, having won silver and bronze in previous Games.
The squad includes seven Olympic gold medalists and for Defroand the trip has brought back memories of her earlier career.
She added: “My last and only other trip to Australia was when I played in the 2013 Youth Olympics in Sydney so I am really looking forward to heading back for my first Commonwealth Games and seeing what the Gold Coast has to offer.
“I’m super excited! The Aussies are renowned for their love of sport and they are especially passionate about hockey, with both their men and women’s teams being two of the world’s best teams.”