Half-century milestone was not on the radar – O’Flanagan

In addition to sweeping to World League Round 2 glory in Kuala Lumpur, Irish players scooped all of the individual awards with Anna O’Flanagan landing both the top scorer and player of the tournament prizes while Ayeisha McFerran took the best goalkeeper award.

Indeed, it was an extra special week for O’Flanagan as she passed the 50-goal mark for Ireland, scoring in each game to end up with a dozen to her name from the event.

Speaking about that milestone, she told The Hook it was not something that had been on her radar: “In relation to scoring my 50th goal, I am obviously absolutely delighted!

“I actually wasn’t conscious of the milestone before the game. I only realised when I saw the tweets after the game! I knew after the summer tests I was in and around the 40 mark but it totally slipped my mind coming into this tournament as our main focus was always ensuring we qualified for WL3 and winning the tournament.”

Anna O’Flanagan celebrates. Pic: Malaysia Hockey Confederation

She joins a shortlist of players to have reached that milestone with Lyndsey McVicker the all-time top scorer for Ireland on 65. The Hermes-Monkstown striker – who has also netted 23 times in club action this term – is keen to see her contribution help deliver a World Cup spot later this year and the road to Tokyo 2020.

“I’m extremely honoured to join the group of players who have come before me,” O’Flanagan added. “And I am very grateful to be a part of this great team as we continue to compete with the top teams in world hockey.

“Exciting times lie ahead for our squad and I really look forward to the next few years together.”

Zoe Wilson was one of a number of ranking tournament debutantes who impressed in defence. The teenager told the Belfast Telegraph that it was a memorable event to be involved in.

“What an experience my first competitive tournament has been and I have gained so much experience having to adjust to the heat and humidity, fully appreciating how fitness levels impact in this sort of environment,” said the 19-year-old defender.

“Playing against the home team in a noisy and packed stadium was an unforgettable experience that I hope will stand me in good stead in the future.”We are really excited to have qualified for World League 3 and we will have a busy summer ahead with the European Championship as well but I’m really looking forward to it.”

“We are really excited to have qualified for World League 3 and we will have a busy summer ahead with the European Championship as well but I’m really looking forward to it.”

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