Lynch is a keeper

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - SPORT - Bryce Luff

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

Lynch, who 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. We’ve won the last three, so that puts a bit of pres­sure on,” she said.

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), 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.”

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 sport.

The North­bridge lo­cal, who has launched a web­site of­fer­ing coach­ing for goal­keep­ers, has been a reg­is­tered nurse since 2010 and works at Fiona Stan­ley Hospi­tal.

“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,” she said.

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

d480662 Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt

Fiona Stan­ley Hospi­tal nurse and Hock­ey­roos goal­keeper Rachael Lynch.

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