Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch picked to compete in third Commonwealth Games

Fiona Stanley Hospital nurse and Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch.
Fiona Stanley Hospital nurse and Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch.

HOCKEYROOS brick wall Rachael Lynch says Australia can achieve a fourth-straight gold at April’s Commonwealth Games.

Lynch, who on Friday was picked to keep goals at her third games, said the home country wanted to put on a show and “win the gold”.

“We’ve got a pretty proud history at the Commonwealth Games,” she said.

“We’ve won the last three so that puts a bit of pressure on.”

While traditional powerhouse countries including Holland and Argentina will not be on the Gold Coast, the Victoria Park Panthers star said there would be many obstacles to overcome.

“So for us we’ve got threats like England, New Zealand and South Africa who are really strong,” she said.

“I think we are favourites for the tournament but we put that pressure on ourselves to perform and we know we need to beat these really strong countries to get into the finals.

“Often that’s the hardest bit – trying to win your quarter final and having a solid run through your round games.

“So it will just be one game at a time.”

Lynch – 31 and a veteran of 176 international matches – expected Stephanie Kershaw to shine.

Kershaw, who will be among 10 Commonwealth Games debutants in the Australian squad, missed the Rio Olympics because of injury but is back and ready to go.

“She will create a lot of play for us but across the board we’ve got so much talent,” she said.

“We had a pretty experienced team in Rio and now (there’s) a lot of younger girls but they’re gaining experience as we go along.

“I think we should be able to play an exciting brand of hockey, fast paced, and hopefully score a lot of goals.”

While there will be expectation on her, as Australia’s last line of defence, Lynch said it was put into perspective by her life outside of the sport she loves.

The Northbridge local, who has also launched a website offering coaching for goalkeepers, has been a registered nurse since 2010.

She currently works at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

“I don’t want to think about hockey all day,” she said.

“When you’re in sport it feels like it’s everything, but it’s not.

“Especially when you come to hospital and there’s people here going through something that’s extremely horrific for them.

“So the balance is definitely a bit of a skill but I love to be busy and that’s why I try and squeeze in as much as I can.

“But the perspective work gives me helps me to be a better person and a better athlete as well.

“That’s why I do it.”

The Hockeyroos begin their campaign on April 5 against Canada.

The Kookaburras open their account against South Africa on April 7.

Australian hockey squads for the Commonwealth Games:

Hockeyroos squad: Emily Smith (c) (hometown state – NSW), Rachael Lynch (VIC, lives in Northbridge), Jocelyn Bartram (NSW), Edwina Bone (NSW), Jane Claxton (SA), Ashlea Fey (QLD), Savannah Fitzpatrick (NSW), Jordyn Holzberger (QLD), Emily Hurtz (NSW), Jodie Kenny (QLD), Stephanie Kershaw (QLD), Karri McMahon (SA), Gabrielle Nance (NSW), Kaitlin Nobbs (NSW), Brooke Peris (NT), Madi Ratcliffe (VIC), Grace Stewart (NSW), Renee Taylor (QLD).

Kookaburras squad: Mark Knowles (c) (QLD), Daniel Beale (QLD), Andrew Charter (ACT), Tom Craig (NSW), Matthew Dawson (NSW), Jeremy Edwards (TAS), Blake Govers (NSW), Jeremy Hayward (NT), Jake Harvie (WA), Aaron Kleinschmidt (VIC), Tyler Lovell (WA), Trent Mitton (WA), Eddie Ockenden (TAS), Flynn Ogilvie (NSW), Lachlan Sharp (NSW), Jacob Whetton (QLD), Dylan Wotherspoon (NSW), Aran Zalewski (WA).