By The Hockey Paper
Defender Jodie Kenny says the Hockeyroos’ top four finish at the Women’s World Cup is a sign of the youthful team’s growth, but adds there’s plenty more to learn.
Australia lost their semi-final to world No 1 Netherlands in a shoot-out before losing the bronze medal match 3-1 to Spain in London.
Veteran defender Kenny said the fourth-place finish was a step forward for Paul Gaudoin’s side as they continue to evolve towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics following their disappointing quarter-final exit at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“We’ve come a very long way,” Kenny said. “I’m extremely proud of all the girls.
“It’s extremely disappointing to end up fourth but in the overall scheme it’s a good effort from us.
“It shows we’ve still got a lot of learning in the bigger matches.
“We need to play really well throughout to get over those hurdles at the end, the tough final matches that show physical and mental strength as well.”
Gaudoin refused to use Australia’s heartbreaking semi-final shootout loss to the Dutch on Saturday as an excuse for Sunday’s loss to Spain, which was the side’s only World Cup defeat inside regulation time.
“Spain were very good and we weren’t quite there,” he said. “We will learn a lot from Sunday’s performance. We can’t use Saturday’s match as an excuse.”
The Hockeyroos will now enjoy a break from training, ahead of a series in Japan in September.
The Hockeyroos have risen up two spots to third on the latest FIH Hero World Rankings.
Australia had entered the 2018 World Cup in London ranked fifth.
The ranking represents the Hockeyroos’ best since August 2016.
The Hockey Paper’s World Cup coverage is supported by St. Bert’s Clothing – SUMMER SALE