Ellis aiming for more England glory
HOCKEY: Jo Ellis, Ipswich's newest rising hockey star, is gearing up for a double summer celebration – and has no intention of becoming a "one-hit wonder".
JO Ellis, Ipswich's newest rising hockey star, is gearing up for a double summer celebration – and has no intention of becoming a "one-hit wonder".
Her first mission will be to help England women's hockey squad gain a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester before becoming a bridesmaid at her 24-year-old brother's wedding on August 25.
Ellis, who last week had a quiet family party to celebrate her own 21st birthday, today resumed training at Cannock with the 15 other squad members, after suffering from a bout of summer flu.
But even that couldn't dampen the spirits of the bubbly midfielder, whose performances for Ipswich over the past three seasons have led to her selection.
Said Ellis: "I was so surprised and speechless when I learnt I had been picked for the Commonwealth Games squad. It's something I never dared dream about, even though I thought I might have an outside chance.
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"Having only gained my first England cap a couple of months ago, I didn't really think I stood much of a chance, but now I'm in I'm so excited. It's without doubt the highest pinnacle of my
hockey career so far.
"I'm really looking forward to being a part of the opening ceremony as I've only watched it on television before and everyone is telling me that to be there gives you such a buzz."
Among the crowd when England play New Zealand, Canada and India, will be her mum and dad, Lyn and Richard, who run the White Horse pub in Barton, Cambs, along with her 27-year-old brother, Steven.
"They were really delighted when I told them I was in the squad, although for a couple of days I had been sworn to secrecy about it," said Ellis, who is studying sport science at Brunel University in west London.
After the Games and her brother Paul's wedding, Ellis will be looking ahead to the World Cup in November – but refuses to take anything for granted.
She said: "I don't want to be a one-hit wonder and I want to make progress in hockey. I am well aware that you are as only as good as your last game but I never had the World Cup in my sights a few months ago.
"I can only take each game as it comes and hope that by getting better and better I impress sufficient people to get selected for that.
"I'd love to go to my brother's wedding with a Commonwealth Games medal. That would really put the icing on the cake."