Canberra Chill defender Edwina Bone believes the revamped Hockey One league will give the Hockeyroos the perfect warm-up for the Tokyo Olympics.
Bone and Kalindi Commerford traded their green-and-gold outfits for a return to club hockey on Saturday, with the former starring in the University of Canberra's 3-2 win over United.
It was a dramatic change of scenery for the 31-year-old defender after spending six-months travelling the world with the Hockeyroos and claiming silver in the international Pro-League.
Australia has risen to No. 2 in the world behind the Netherlands after reaching the grand-final of the inaugural tournament. The Hockeyroos lost the decider in a sensational shoot-out to the Dutch side.
Bone believes increased exposure to the world's best will give the Hockeyroos an extra edge come the Olympics next year.
"We worry them because we're unpredictable, we give them a push around and make them uncomfortable. It's the Australian way and they don't like that," Bone said.
"If we keep building on that, improve our game and become more skillful then we're going to be unstoppable come Tokyo next year.
"We have the capacity to beat any team in the world, including the Dutch. We're close to being the team that's going to knock them off."
But first the Hockeyroos will have to overcome New Zealand to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in September.
The nations will play a best-of-three matches in Rockhampton with Australia coming off a 5-1 wining streak over the Black Sticks.
The Hockeyroos will tour Japan in August to provide the perfect preparation ahead of the qualifiers. The national side will clash against the hosts, Korea and India to test out the Olympic pitches and expose younger players to international hockey.
"You breed smart hockey players when they have the ability to play lots of matches," Bone said.
"All these games have added pressure and we need more games under our belt to add that extra layer."
Then comes Hockey One, the revamped national league which will give the Hockeyroos even more opportunities to challenge themselves ahead of the Olympics.
"Hockey One will challenge players in the Hockeyroos group," Bone said.
"If we don't have these competitions then players will become complacent and not push themselves. The more we can push Hockey One and its success then it's going to make the Hockeyroos even better."
Hockey One will be played over a six-week home and away season with three home games per club, which will always be male-female double-headers.
The tournament will run from mid-September to late November with all matches streamed and finals televised on Fox Sports.
Bone will trade her Strikers jersey for the new moniker Canberra Chill.
The Chill will replace the Canberra Lakers and Strikers teams that represented the capital in the Australian Hockey League. They'll continue to use yellow as Canberra's primary colour, with a new-look logo emblazoned on the front of playing gear.
"Our expectation is to definitely make the finals and do well," Bone said.
"We've got a really good team and I'm excited to promote that Chill pride. It's a perfect name for Canberra because it's cold all the time. We're embracing it because we've got a fun name we can play on."
Canberra will open their season against the Brisbane Blaze at the Lyneham Hockey Centre on September 29.