One game at a time for goalkeeper Hinch

Maddie Hinch marshals the defence

It is fair to say that Maddie Hinch has enjoyed her rise through the ranks to becoming one of the best goalkeepers in world hockey. Having taken over the No1 shirt in the wake of Beth Storry and Abi Walker’s retirements post London 2012, the Holcombe stopper has won plenty of medals and plenty of individual accolades in the last three years. Now having played her part in England’s stunning European Championship victory in the summer, Hinch is ready and waiting to get going in Rosario for the World League final.

As with many of her teammates, she has experienced the feeling of playing in front of the incredible crowds that hockey in Argentina draws, something she is relishing the prospect of:

“I’m excited. Argentina is a fantastic place to play. They always get good crowds in and they’re so noisy and so passionate. It’s a fantastic feeling competing in that sort of atmosphere. I can’t wait.”

The goalkeeper has missed some action this season after injuring her knee in the shootout at the European Championship final. With her rehabilitation now complete, the old sharpness and desire is better than ever:

“Physically I actually feel better than before which shows how good my rehab has been. It’s now a case of getting my sharpness back which I’ve done during club matches and the tests in Tucumán. I was a bit tentative but I’m more relaxed now and starting to get my head around training and matches like I was pre-injury. Once I get going it’ll be like I’ve never been away.”

Maddie Hinch celebrates

The World League Final brings the best teams around together to pit their wits against each other. Although Great Britain’s long undefeated streak has come to an end in their three test warm up series against the hosts, Hinch is confident they can continue their good form from recent competitive tournaments. As clichéd as it may seem, the team’s approach will not deviate from their usual “one game at a time” strategy which has served them so well so far:

“We’ll go out with the same mentality we’ve had all year. Take it game by game, stick the processes we always do and see if that pays off. If it doesn’t then we’ll reflect on it but we’re going out to do the best we can and we have a lot of confidence going in.”

The start of their one game at time approach begins tonight with a clash against host nation Argentina in their opening pool game. You can follow all the action live on BT Sport.

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