IMG_1620So my first week back with MOP and what a week it was. We had a pre season running camp in Malaga Spain, a short 2-hour plane ride away from Eindhoven airport. From 5 degrees we went to about 15 and sunny so the girls loved it! I however had come from 40-degree weather so still thought it was a bit chilly, and found it amusing that so many still got burnt! I know this will be me when I come back from Europe though! IMG_1580

On our first night we had a group activity of ‘tennis’ except there is no actual ball and you sit in a circle… ok it is a drinking game but we played it without drinks and it was hilarious! The next morning we had our first running and shuttle test before heading into Malaga for a bike tour. It was such a beautiful city and nice to see some of its 3000 year old history. I think Spain has to be one of my favorite countries, although we were quite spoilt our hotel was amazing. From the buffet breakfast to the first glass gym and indoor pool, it also had a rooftop infinity pool and bar, probably the nicest place I have ever stayed with a team! That night we had a quiz organized by the girls. My team won (yay), without my help because it was all in Dutch, but I was there to give Hi Fives. IMG_1916

The second day we had two running session, and it was raining so that proved challenging and cold but we got through it. In between we had a round of mini golf, and my group probably need to stick to hockey because we were all pretty shocking at it!

The following day we had swimming inside and ended up with a competitive relay. Free time meant most girls went and enjoyed the last few hours of sunshine before we came home, and some scooted around the island in these mini cars. IMG_1743

We got in late that night, but it was game one with two games back to back the next day. We had 2 wins in what was an amazing first week back in Holland and a good start for what is to come. It was also Carnaval time in Holland so on Monday I went with some of the girls to check out the parades. A real life fairy tale I felt a bit ridiculous dressed up as a kangaroo, but next to the craziest costumes ever, I looked quite normal. After a fun day it was time for an early night with gym in the morning and hockey in the afternoon.

Two weeks until the start of competition!

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Anna Flanagan
World hockey’s Young Player of the Year for 2012, Anna Flanagan is one of a group of young Australian athletes rapidly rising to the top together. Known as ‘Flanno’ or ‘Boy’ amongst teammates and friends, Flanagan reached a century of international appearances three years after making her debut. With a passion for the media industry and a keen blogger, Flanagan has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and has spent time both in front of the camera and behind the scenes with broadcasters in Perth in recent years. Now studying for a law degree to add to her journalism qualification, she also has a certificate three and four in fitness. Despite playing with her trademark yellow ribbon in her hair, Flanagan describes herself as a bit of a tomboy. Introduced to hockey through family, the youngster from Canberra initially refused to play because she was made to wear a skirt. At age eight she won that particular battle as her club allowed her to play in leggings; possibly one the smartest decisions made in the history of Australian hockey as Flanagan’s love affair with hockey quickly took off.

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