Kelly Boyle says being part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games with the Scottish Thistles is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ that she intends to grab.
The Strathclyde Sirens star from Coatbridge is part of Tamsin Greenway’s squad for the tournament in Birmingham, with Thistles up against World number one side Australia on today and Wales tomorrow.
Jamaica provide opposition on August 2, with Barbados and South Africa over the next two days.
Boyle, 26, knows it will be tough for Scotland, but is looking forward to the action taking place and hopefully playing her part.
She said: “We’ve been training for so long and we have been counting down with each camp every weekend. Now that it’s finally here, I think we’re all just excited.
“Now we can enjoy it, now that we’ve done the training, and we’re ready to go out and perform.
“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and it only comes round every so often, so once you go out there it’s about relishing the moment.
“But the training and all those sacrifices have been worth it, because it is something special – and it can’t come quick enough.”
Greenway’s side go into the Games aiming to prove that their ranking of eighth in the world is justified.
Thistles won’t be expected to cause a major shock against sides like Australia, but Boyle says that works for Scotland.
“You need to challenge yourself and put yourself against the best in the world to see where you are, to challenge yourself, and to know where your limits are,” she said.
“There are world-class athletes that you’re able to play against, challenge, and see where you line up against them.
“We’ve been working on things in training and it’s now solidifying that and trying to put it out across a 60-minute performance. There will be
games that we want to target but we’re more realistic about where we’re pushing for.
“Can we put a game-plan together and put out a strong performance that we’re proud of, but with consistency?
“We want to put out good performances, know where we are and cause a surprise. We know we’ve done the hard work and results will come, but it’s not to be results-focused at this point.
“It’s trusting our processes in what we set out to do, and trusting our performances.”
Boyle added: “For the first block there are target matches. Next week we want to challenge ourselves and other teams, and there are games in which we want to take away the win.
“We’ve previously played against Barbados, and we want to challenge them again, because other teams will go and do their homework on us.
“We need to make sure we focus on ourselves and what we want to achieve. If we can concentrate on ourselves, go into games where we want to challenge, but be realistic about games we can win, I think that’ll be a good start.”
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