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Flanagan set for a sleepless night waiting for 'the' call

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Fleta Page

Junior players Elizabeth Harlum (8) and Patrick Compton (5) get serious about the Olympics with Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan after they presented her with a team mascot.

Junior players Elizabeth Harlum (8) and Patrick Compton (5) get serious about the Olympics with Hockeyroo Anna Flanagan after they presented her with a team mascot. Photo: Stuart Walmsley

ANNA FLANAGAN is the latest Canberra athlete enduring a nervous wait.

The 20-year-old is today waiting for the call to tell her whether or not she will be off to her first Olympic Games, as the Hockeyroos squad for London is culled to a team of 16. ''I think it will be a bit of a sleepless night,'' Flanagan told The Sunday Canberra Times yesterday.

Having just returned from Europe, Flanagan is waiting it out at home in Canberra, where the home-grown Hockeyroo has been getting plenty of support.

Yesterday it was from junior players and parents at an appearance at minkey, as Flanagan tries to distract herself at the start of a five-day ''planned wellness break''. ''We have a couple of them every year, they send all of us back home, or wherever we'd like to go,'' she said.

This break has been timed specifically to coincide with the Olympic team announcement so players can share the high or the low with family and ''get the support you need, either way.''

Despite Flanagan's good performances, she knows there are no guarantees.

''I'm definitely nervous, since our last game, knowing there's nothing else we can do,'' she said.

The seventh-ranked Hockeyroos' last game was a 4-1 loss the Dutch in the final of the London Cup last weekend.

''The score didn't really reflect how many opportunities we had, but they're just so clinical in the circle and we didn't take our [opportunities],'' Flanagan said of the loss to the world No. 1 side.

Australia had made it to that final courtesy of Flanagan, who shot the winning goal against Germany from a penalty corner after the final buzzer.

Yesterday the ANU Hockey Club member spent the morning inspiring the next generation of potential Hockeyroos and Kookaburras - members of Canberra's newest junior hockey club, Uni Juniors. The club is developing players to feed into the ANU and University of Canberra senior hockey clubs, and shares a sponsor with Flanagan, Bunyip Toys.

The juniors presented Flanagan with a memento they hope she will take all the way to London.

Regardless of the call she gets today, Flanagan and the rest of the squad will head back to Perth on Wednesday to continue training together right up until the Games.

The official team announcement won't be made until Tuesday, after a 48-hour appeal period.

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