Fey embraces dream hockey opportunity
HOCKEY: A dream years in the making is now just days away for Sunshine Coast's Ashlea Fey who is set to make her milestone debut on the Commonwealth Games stage.
She's wielded a hockey stick since she was four years old, and developed her game in the junior ranks at Maroochydore, but will hit the field in the green and gold as part of the Hockeyroos this week.
Fey said her imminent debut at the Games was a "dream come true” and hoped to make the most of the opportunity.
"It's a privilege to be doing this and I think just being in the village it's now (becoming) quite a reality,” she said.
"Just the hype of that (being on the Gold Coast) and everything is really cool, the training has been well and the pitch is really cool too.”
The Hockeyroos have plenty of history on the Commonwealth stage - winning gold in 2014, 2010 and 2006 - and Fey said the team had set similar expectations during this campaign.
"We'd want to be in the medals and I guess the vibe around the group is that we'd be pretty disappointed with anything but gold,” she said.
"But, we just want to make the top four and then go from there.”
Early signs were all pointing towards a dominant outing too, according to Fey.
"We are fit, fast and strong and we'll just pay our normal way and I don't think we'll be changing too much,” she said.
"(There's been) no setbacks and everyone is looking great and we're training great...so it's very promising for us.”
Fey debuted in the Hockeyroos squad during the Trans-Tasman Series in November 2016 and has since featured in a range of international clashes for the Hockeyroos at the International Festival of Hockey and Oceania Cup. However, she relished the fresh challenge some countries would provide on the Gold Coast.
"I haven't played against some of the countries that we'll be playing against so I'll definitely be excited to play against them and see some different structures and everything,” she said.
"I'm not nervous yet, but I'm sure they'll (nerves) kick in for the first game.”
Being able to play in front of home crowds added to what would be a milestone debut for Fey.
"The stadium is huge and it will look great if it's full - I'm definitely hoping, and expecting, it to be full for most of our games,” she said. "My parents and my brother from the Coast will be coming down and we've got lots of family friends and friends coming as well.”