Hockey starlet Maddie Hinch is hoping her new Dutch team-mates keep their hands off her gold medal.
The West Chiltington-based Team GB goalkeeper is expecting a few awkward moments when she joins up with her new club in the Netherlands.
In the dressing room at Stichtse Cricket en Hockey Club in Utrecht, will be three players, she helped her heroic ladies overcome in the Rio Olympics final.
Hinch, 27, was already set to make the move before her show-stealing display to help Team GB to gold with a 2-0 penalty victory last month.
But she is hoping her new club side and their players won’t hold it against her, “I am off to play my club hockey in Holland, which is slightly awkward,” she said.
“Three of my new teammates were in the Netherlands side so I am hoping we can still be friends.
“The medal is definitely coming with me so it they give me any stick I will get that out. A lot of those girls have a couple of Olympic gold medals to their name.
“The Dutch are a fantastic side and some were going for their third Olympic gold in a row, some of them had never lost an Olympic match. They are that formidable.”
The medal will also be making the trip across the North Sea, but on the long-term home for it, Hinch hasn’t quite made her mind up.
She said: “I don’t know. I was talking to some of the girls about their London 2012 ones and asked did they frame them. I do that with a lot of my shirts.
“I want to get it out now and again and look at it. It is certainly proving a very popular item with people at the minute.
“I think it will come with me in that box, maybe I will have to keep it on me and wear it everywhere, although it’s quite heavy.
“Hopefully my new Dutch teammates won’t steal it.”
What does the future now hold for Hinch and her history-making team-mates?
They were Team GB’s first ladies to win gold in hockey and they are looking to continue to emulate that.
Hinch added: “The challenge now is winning after winning, we have a home World Cup in two years and I am sure that will be bigger than anyone had ever imagined.
“Can we go there and deliver? People will think a hockey game is always like what it was in that final, but I can assure them it is not.
“It’s fast-paced with a lot of drama and bravery and I don’t think people realised that.”
The publicity train shows no sign of slowing down with Hinch currently a regular on television - having appeared on the Jonathan Ross Show and Sunday Brunch after shooting into the spotlight.
But she is taking it in her stride, adding: “I am excited by the fact that big TV people and big names are talking about our game and the more that happens, the more it will grow. That’s the main thing.
“I am definitely lacking a bit of sleep at the moment, but I am powering on through. It’s never a chore talking to people. I want people to know about our sport and it’s a case of striking while the iron is hot really.”
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