Courtney Schonell eyes Olympic gold with Hockeyroos selection

Eyes on the prize: Courtney Schonell has been selected for the 2021 Hockeyroos squad. She is ready to take her skills to the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Supplied
Eyes on the prize: Courtney Schonell has been selected for the 2021 Hockeyroos squad. She is ready to take her skills to the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Supplied

Courtney Schonell first picked up a hockey stick at just four years old and now the talented player has her sights set on Olympic gold.

The Mount Annan local has been selected for the 2021 Australian Hockeyroos team.

Schonell, who is just 20 years old, will be one of the youngest players on the team.

"This is something I have been waiting for for a long time and to make the team at such a young age is amazing," she said.

"I was quite shocked - I still don't think it feels real yet.

"I feel really privileged to have been selected to represent my country. It's surreal."

The Harrington Park Hockey Club striker said she had always loved the sport.

"I started playing when I was four, I made my first state team when I was 10 and I represented Australia for the first time when I was 15," she said.

"I love being up front, being able to score and make a big impact on the game.

"I love being able to help my team get the win.

"I love how competitive it is and I love meeting new people - I've always loved it."

Schonell said she would soon be getting on a plane to WA to start training.

"It's a big move especially because it'll be my first time away from home," she said.

"But I am really excited to give it a go, spend some time with the girls on the squad and learn more about myself.

"It'll be a really good change."

Picture: Supplied

Picture: Supplied

Schonell said she had already met her teammates and looked forward to working with them more.

"It will be great to catch up with the other girls when we get over there," she said.

"Some of the squad are players I have looked up to since I was younger and now I will get to play alongside them."

The talented athlete and future Olympic candidate said up-and coming hockey players should give it their all.

"My motto is: 'the sky's the limit," Schonell said.

"I just think if you enjoy what you are doing and you keep trying hard and striving to get there, you can achieve your goals.

"I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped me to get to this point."

Coach Paul Gaudoin told the media at a recent press conference that while the immediate focus was on the Tokyo Olympics, the selection panel's decisions were also made with the 2022 Commonwealth Games and next Olympic cycle in mind.

"Courtney [Schonell] joins Amy Lawton and Karri Somerville as athletes in our squad who are 20 years of age or younger," Gaudoin said.

"Throw in Aleisha Power, who is 23, and they represent the exciting present and future of the Hockeyroos.

"Their enthusiasm, desire and hunger to not only represent the Hockeyroos but compete and succeed is contagious.

"This squad includes some of the most exciting and talented young players in world hockey and gives us a fantastic blend of youth and experience."

Schonell has also been a member of the Jillaroos (Australian under 21s squad) and national development squad.

"Courtney demonstrated at the selection camp that she has a quality skill set, wants to compete and is ready to step into the Hockeyroos program and take her game to another level," Gaudoin said.

Joining Schonell in the in the 2021 squad are Laura Barden, Jocelyn Bartram, Edwina Bone, Emily Chalker, Jane Claxton, Madison Fitzpatrick, Greta Hayes, Kate Jenner, Stephanie Kershaw, Amy Lawton, Grace Stewart, Kalindi Commerford, Rosie Malone, Kaitlin Nobbs, Meg Pearce, Brooke Peris, Aleisha Power, Karri Somerville, Penny Squibb, Renee Taylor, Sophie Taylor, Ashlee Wells, Mariah Williams and Georgia Wilson.

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