Hockey: Injured Rio Olympian Mariah Williams shoots for national return in first Pro LeagueOn 09/10/2019 by admin
TESTING TIMES: Rio Olympian Mariah Williams is aiming for next year’s FIH Pro League. Picture: Josh CallinanA hamstring strain has halted Mariah Williams’ return to international hockey as the Rio Olympian aims to be back fully fit for next year’s inaugural Pro League.
Williams, who has been staying with her parents at Teralba during the Australian Hockey League (AHL) this month, will more than likely skip the Hockeyroos’ campaign atthe Champions Trophy in China in November.
Instead, the 23-year-old strikerwants to be right for eight Tests on home soil in the space of six weeks, starting against world No.1 the Netherlands in Melbourne on February 2.
PHOTOS:Oxfords break premiership drought in Newcastle premier league
“My next goal is the Pro League,” Williams told the Newcastle Herald.
“That’s an important one [tournament] now, because it’s also an Olympic qualifier.
“If the hammy was ok, then yes I’d want to be back playing [earlier]. But because of the hammy, I just want to take it easy and not rush back.
“It’s a little hard after being out [of the Hockeyroos] for a year. This way, having the rest of the year off, I geta few months of preparation under my belt and be right to go come February.”
Williams, who has 63 caps and seven goals for the Australian women’s team, missed this year’sGold Coast Commonwealth Games and recent World Cup in London following groin surgery in February.
The former Hunter Sports High School student has since played someclub hockey for Hale in Perth, first returning to the field in August, but sustained the hamstring injury training with the national squad last month.
She was named to representNSWin round two of the AHL in Tasmania less than a fortnight ago, but hasn’t yet played a game.
Williams was due to train with the Arrows in Sydney on Tuesday night, but remains an uncertain starter for the interstate finals serieson the Gold Coast.NSW meetWestern Australia in the quarters on Thursday.Semis follow on Saturday and medal matches on Sunday.
In the men’s competition, NSW also have WA but the Waratahs are winlessfrom the opening three rounds. NSW have included four Hunter Coast Premier Hockey League players –Simon Orchard, Ky Willott, Hayden Dillon and Ehren Hazel.