Australia’s Amy Korner (left) marks Japan’s Akai Mitsuhashi during the 2010 World Cup.
Australia’s Amy Korner (left) marks Japan’s Akai Mitsuhashi during the 2010 World Cup. Daniel Garcia

Korner facing tough decisions

AMY Korner has three weeks in which to make the biggest decision of her sporting career.

On Monday the Flinders View 25-year-old was named in the 11-woman Hockeyroos development squad, effectively the shadow squad for the 27-woman Olympic squad.

It was not the news she was hoping for.

Korner now faces three weeks of introspection in which to decide if one final push to try to make the final Olympic squad is really worth it.

Korner is in the middle of exams for her teaching degree.

That, combined with part-time work and a hockey schedule that hasn't given her a break in nearly 12 months, means her state of mind is probably not in the right place to make such a monumental decision.

Korner knows as much, so will take her time before making her decision.

"I've got a few weeks off for a holiday, which will be good," she said.

"I know my capabilities.

"I pushed them this year and still didn't make it.

"It's really frustrating."

Yet she knows it will only take an injury or loss of form to one or two strikers ahead of her and she could be next in line.

"Looking at the girls who are in the squad, it is a big job to work my way in," Korner said.

"I know how much hard work I've done this year and to have to still do more is really hard."

Korner fought her way into the Australian team for recent series against India and China and gave it her all, only to miss out.

She is physically and mentally exhausted so it is no surprise she is disillusioned.

"There are always things I can improve," she said.

"I wish I had made more of my shots and opportunities (against India and China).

"But I was physically buggered at the end of each game so I have no regrets about the effort I put in."

As Korner speaks, you can sense her internal conflict.

One part of her thinks she has nothing more to give, the other knows how close her dream is and how narrow the margins between success and failure are.

She does not want o regret her decision in years to come.

"This year I have made huge improvements," she said.

"If I continue, that will it be enough?

"I'm not sure.

"I have spoken to the (national) coaches throughout the year and worked on those things.

"I can further improve on them, things like running back, fitness and chasing.

"This year I incorporated more sprinting into my program and I got faster.

"But I've never been an endurance athlete, good at running long distances."

Korner is wise enough to know three weeks away from the stresses she has recently endured will provide her with a different perspective from which to view things more clearly.

"I'll discuss it with everyone close to me," she said.

"My coach has encouraged me to take a few weeks away.

"I didn't get any break through the year."