Edwina Bone is daring to dream of Olympic gold after her role in the Hockeyroos’ penalty shootout win over England on Saturday night.
The former University of Canberra captain described winning Commonwealth Games gold as her greatest moment and expects the squad to stick tight over the next two years in the lead-up to Rio.
Australia fell behind to England midway through the second half on a sodden evening at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre before Jodie Kenny’s leveller with 11 seconds left on the clock.
The Hockeyroos then prevailed 3-1 in an absorbing penalty shootout ensuring Bone and fellow Canberran Anna Flanagan left Glasgow with a gold medal draped around their neck.
“We’ve won World League and things like that but nothing compares to this medal wrapped in my hands right now,” Bone said.
“I’ve been around this group 18 months or so and I’m just getting into that rhythm of knowing what my job is and getting to know all the girls and having really good friends in the team.
“The group is really tight, that’s what gets us through most the time, we trust each other everyone does their job to the best of their ability and that’s what gets the result.
“If we stick together as this group it’ll be really promising towards Rio.”
As rewarding as the win over England was, this wasn’t the ultimate grand final for the Hockeyroos.
Coach Adam Commens has built this team from seventh in the world 18 months ago to No.2 with only The Netherlands standing between them and the top ranking.
He feels his work won’t be complete until the Hockeyroos return to the peak of world hockey.
“I think they’re capable of developing into a team that can contend for the big titles, the World Cup and the Olympic Games would be our major focus,” Commens said.
“We’re probably still a little way off [The Netherlands], they’re world champions and Olympic champions because they’re a fantastic side and they have a lot of depth.
“There’s probably a little bit to go but that will happen as we build depth in our group and there’s a little bit more competition.
“We have a good robust program that will deliver success over the long term.”
Bone, who brought up her 50th cap during the tournament, was one of the Hockeyroos’ best in tricky conditions on Saturday.
Australia were warm favourites after dismantling South Africa 7-1 in the semi-final, but failed time and time again to penetrate a stubborn England goal circle.
But class prevailed. Flanagan’s initial shot from the last-ditch penalty corner was saved before Kenny’s pressure-laden follow up sizzled into the back of the net.
The win was a rare triumph at these Games over England, who finished with the most gold medals for the first time since 1986.
“I looked at the [medal] ladder and I was like they don’t need another gold medal, give us one,” Bone said.
“We’ve played England a lot in the last 18 months and we have had it over them. They defended really well they picked off passes that we were trying to get through that we’d normally get through.
“We didn’t get as many penalty corners as we did in the other games.
“They just played really well, hats off to them. That’s what finals hockey’s all about.”