Canberra's Anna Flanagan scored Australia's only goal in the World League final. Unfortunately, the Hockeyroos lost 5-1. Photo: Getty Images
Hockeyroos star Anna Flanagan hopes an around-the-world trip through seven countries in as many months is the start of Australia's journey to the top of the international rankings.
Flanagan will arrive in Canberra on Thursday after a 50-hour marathon trek home following the Hockeyroos silver medal at the World League in Argentina.
It ends a whirlwind year for Flanagan that saw her named the world's best young player, play her 100th match for the Hockeyroos and travel the world with the Australian junior and senior teams.
Flanagan played her 100th match for Australia in 2013. She is 21. Photo: Getty Images
But Flanagan's appetite for success won't be satisfied until the Hockeyroos claim a major international title.
Their 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the final on Monday was the first major final the Hockeyroos have made since 2009.
The Hockeyroos haven't won a major title since 2003.
''It was bitter-sweet in Argentina … it's the first time in a long time we've made big gains,'' Flanagan said before leaving Rio de Janeiro.
''It's been a massive year and the progress we've made is showing. We always knew we had the potential … we're not at the benchmark yet and we have a lot to improve.
''But we think we've got the plan to beat those best teams in the world.''
Flanagan, 21, will be in back in Canberra to host coaching clinics on Friday and Saturday.
She will also lead a charity match at Lyneham on Saturday, which will raise money for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and has recruited ACT Brumbies and Canberra Raiders players to support the cause.
The Hockeyroos are targeting success at the World Cup in the Netherlands in June next year.
They also want gold at the Commonwealth Games and to continue their resurgence on the international stage.
Flanagan scored Australia's only goal in the final against the Dutch and the Hockeyroos held a 1-0 lead at half-time.
But the young side was swamped by the world No.1 team in the second half. Australia is now ranked fourth in the world after rising three spots since the London Olympics last year.
''I'm learning more and more about what it takes to be an elite athlete and world class,'' Flanagan said.
''We want to keep getting closer to the best teams and we know we're not there yet. I think now we know what we have to do to get back to the top.''
Flanagan's 2013 schedule has been jam-packed with junior and senior tournaments.
The 21-year-old has been to South Africa, the Netherlands, London, Germany, New Zealand and Argentina this year as well as tournaments around Australia.
''I've basically been living out of a suitcase for the entire year,'' Flanagan said.
''It was probably even bigger this year than the Olympic year in terms of playing all the time. But we're trying to get as close as we can to being fully professional.''
■ ANNA FLANAGAN CLINICS
Friday: drag flicking from 5.30pm-6.30pm. Saturday: Clinics all day for different age groups, celebrity match at 12.45pm. Money raised goes to Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
To register go to www.hockeyact.org.au or call 02 6257 2374