Kookaburras goalkeeper Andrew Charter backs Anna Flanagan for Hockeyroos return
Kookaburras goalkeeper Andrew Charter says fallen Hockeyroos star Anna Flanagan can bounce back from a tumultuous 12 months and return to the national team if she wants it enough.
Flanagan has tried to relaunch her international career this year after a fall from grace in 2016 saw her benched for the Olympics and then stood down indefinitely for a "breach of team protocols".
The 25-year-old has conceded a third Commonwealth Games berth on the Gold Coast next April will be an uphill battle after she missed selection for the International Festival of Hockey.
The Kookaburras won the men's tournament after defeating New Zealand 2-1 in the final on Sunday and Charter thew his support behind the embattled Flanagan.
"I'd love to see Anna back in there, obviously she's had a bit of tumultuous 12 to 24 months but I'd love her take up the challenge and get back in the squad," Charter said.
"I definitely don't think she's out of it, it's going to be a bit of a challenge, but I've work with the Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin for quite a while and he'll want to see a reaction from her.
"He'll want to see her to prove she really wants to get back in there and hopefully she can realise that goal in the the next 12 months.
"She's still young and Tokyo [2020 Olympics] is not out the realm of possibilities at all, it's just how she goes about it over the next year or two."
Get the latest news and updates emailed straight to your inbox.
Canberra export Charter is gunning for consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medals with the Kookaburras and the 30-year-old said he's confident the body will hold up until 2020.
"It's a huge thing getting to play in a Comm Games at home and it's always an amazing experience to play in front of a big home crowd," Charter said.
"We haven't had a major tournament in Australia for a few years so we're all really excited and hopefully we can put together a strong performance.
"Being in goals there's a smaller demand on my body because I don't have to do the kilometres on the pitch and usually goalkeepers don't peak until their mid 30s.
"A lot of our game comes down to how we read the game and make decisions and the physical aspect isn't as much of a demand, so Tokyo is definitely the plan at the moment."
Charter said hockey must find ways to grow past being a sport which is only recognised by the public every two years.
"It is a bit weird the public only tunes in for Olympics and Commonwealth Games but unfortunately that's the nature of it in Australia with so many competing big sports," Charter said.
"We hold the Champions Trophy and World Cup quite highly but we don't get the nationwide support for those tournaments, so we have to find ways to leverage the game and grow."