THE busy 2018 season for Gerringong’s Grace Stewart will continue in the coming weeks, as her Hockeyroos travel to Japan to compete in the Four Nations Women's Ibaraki International Tournament.
Stewart and her side come into this tournament fresh off a strong showing in London, where they finished fourth at Women’s World Cup.
“Overall I thought the World Cup was a good tournament for us. We matched it with the two top sides in the world, Argentina and the Netherlands,” Stewart said.
“We played great as a team and it gave us the confidence that we can match it with anyone in the world.”
Although they had a disappointing end to the tournament, losing to the Dutch in a shootout in the semi-final and before going down 3-1 to Spain in the bronze medal match, Stewart said there’s still plenty of positives to take from the tournament.
“After the loss to the Dutch the whole team was quite deflated, which showed when we had to back it up the next day against Spain – we really struggled to get up for that match,” she said.
“We experienced plenty of mixed emotions but I know we are all going to learn from it moving forward – I’m proud to have been part of the team that did so well.”
While in London, Stewart became one of the youngest Hockeyroos to ever bring up 50 caps for the team – being only 21.
“It was a very special milestone for me and I’m proud to have done it so young,” she said.
“I’ve already achieved so much in my career and I can’t to see what the future holds.”
Next on the radar for Stewart and her team will be South Korea, United States and Japan at the Four Nations at OIC Field at the Ritsumeikan University Osaka Ibaraki Campus.
“The Japanese tour gives our squad another chance to experience international competition and build as a group,” she said.
“This young group is building something special and to have a chance to play in the country of the next Olympics, is an opportunity we want to make the most of.”
The squad will also spend a day in Tokyo where they will visit the Hockey facilities for the 2020 Olympics.
Stewart’s Hockeyroos will face Japan on September 12, before matches against South Korea (September 13) and US (September 15), with finals on September 16.