- 13 Dec
- From the section Hockey
Megan Frazer says Ireland have set their sights on the 2020 Olympics following their World Cup heroics.
Ireland have climbed up to eighth place in the world following their final loss to the Netherlands and are hoping to build on their success in Tokyo.
The team have two chances of Olympic qualification next year – including through the inaugural Hockey Series.
“The World Cup was a good result but there’s a whole lot more coming for this team hopefully,” said Frazer.
“If we can qualify for the Olympics, that’s going to be our next step and our next goal. We’ve parked the World Cup now, we’ve taken the things we’ve learned from it and we’re going to apply that to our next qualification process.”
Graham Shaw’s side will compete at the European Championships in Belgium next August where just one spot at Tokyo 2020 will be on offer but Ireland will also host a finals round of the Hockey Series in June with two teams progressing to the final Olympic play-off series.
‘We’re best friends’
Frazer, who missed the World Cup final after suffering an injury during the semi-final win against Spain, hopes their exploits in London can inspire the team to further heights.
“We’re starting to come down now and come back to real life but it’s always going to be a memory we’ll never forget and something that we’ll strive to achieve in the future, something that will be inspirational as well,” added the 28-year-old midfielder.
“I think the group of girls just really clicked and we were all playing for each other. We’re best friends and it’s a lot easier to bring out that type of performance and work-rate when everyone is pulling for each other.
“Our preparation was key, we had some great tactics that had been practiced for weeks in advance before we even got to London. So I think those two elements really helped to get us through.”
Ireland were the second-lowest ranked team going into the World Cup and their squad featured only a handful of full-time professional players based abroad but they out-performed the likes of India, Spain and USA on their way to the final where they lost to defending champions and world number one side the Netherlands.
Frazer, who plays for Mannheimer HC in the German Bundesliga, is one of the few Irish players with a full-time contract but she believes the team relishes the challenge of going up against the more established nations.
“Especially when we’re going to play against teams that we know have million-pound programmes that are funded and this is their full-time job and we always know we have nothing to lose and can go and show what we can do with basically nothing compared to what the other teams have,” she argued.
“That’s always a nice challenge for us – to try and show other people up.”
Watch Ireland’s Hockey World Cup: Live Like Legends on BBC Two NI on Thursday, 27 December at 19:00 GMT.
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