By The Hockey Paper
England are focusing on themselves than worrying about the Vitality Women’s World Cup mood on social media, says midfielder Suzy Petty. And with uncluttered minds they are doing so with sound advice from London 2012 Olympians still fresh in their memory.
England players decided collectively to switch off social media for the tournament, replicating Great Britain’s stance during their winning run at Rio 2016.
And Petty says that heeding the advice of past GB Olympians has helped to cope with the expectations heaped on the shoulders of England’s new-look side for this World Cup campaign.
Five Olympians – Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh, Beth Storry, Hannah Macleod and Crista Cullen – paid the current team a visit before the tournament.
Petty, one of 15 players called up to the squad post-Rio, said: “It’s a complete unknown and they were briliant. It was a cool experience. They have very fond memories of London 2010 and it was positive what they said.
“We are thriving on it being at home. The pressure is not as much as we thought it would be now. We know how to cope now with the crowd being loud and silent.”
England will experience another capacity crowd as they search for a first pool stage win after their opening draw against India.
And for Petty the match represents another big game in her second coming as a centrally contracted player.
Last January she was on the Tube in London when an email popped through from England hierarchy with news of the Tokyo 2020 cycle players.
Petty had played a few GB matches five year ago under then coach Jason Lee but hadn’t received a contract leading up to Rio. She had to wait until she got a signal to receive the green light that she would be joining Danny Kerry’s squad this time.
— England Hockey (@EnglandHockey) July 25, 2018
And 18 months on, she wants more big-time hockey.
She told the Evening Standard: “If you can’t enjoy the matches then why do you play the sport?
“It’s tough times sometimes but with a 10,000 crowd we are going to enjoy it and play as hard as we can.
“I didn’t know if it would throw me off but it was weird having 10,000 on your side. We knew that they were behind us if we did something good or bad.”
The Hockey Paper‘s World Cup coverage is supported by St. Bert’s Clothing