Hearts star Katie Rood is aiming to get back in her national team as they prepare to host the World Cup
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The 30-year-old joined the Edinburgh side last summer becoming one of the first players to go professional at the club. The forward has had a brilliant start to her new club and even bagged a goal last weekend in a 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle in the Scottish Cup. However, Rood also has one eye on the summer as she aims to try and force herself back into the New Zealand set-up.
“I had a bit of a shaky start to the season; I wasn’t involved in the goalscoring as much as I’d have liked to be”, she told the Edinburgh Evening News. “On the pitch, I always want to score goals, get assists, be impactful, and be a nightmare for defenders. For me, I still have an eye on that World Cup in New Zealand in July, so just making sure that I try and be influential on the pitch and contribute to positive results.
“It’s going to be an amazing event, I’d be more excited if I was involved. I’ve got a few months now to try and really push for that regardless, if I am in the team or not. It is going to be a monumental occasion for women’s football and women’s sport in general. It’s exciting and I’m sure Australia and New Zealand will be great hosts as well.”
The tournament will be the first time the Oceania nation has hosted as it is set to be the biggest World Cup so far with 64 games set to be played. Fellow Hearts teammates Ciara Grant and Vyan Sampson will also be vying for the Republic of Ireland and Jamaica respectively. Rood has participated in a tournament for her country before as she travelled to New Caledonia to participate in the 2018 OFC Nation’s Cup. The forward would score four goals across the tournament including one in a 5-0 victory over Fiji in the final.
“That was cool, it was an amazing experience”, she said looking back on the competition. "We spent about a month in New Caledonia which is like a tropical island playing football to qualify for the Olympics and the World Cup. It was a long time coming getting into the national team. I spent seven years just training with the squad, basically full-time and not being given an opportunity. When it came around and I was able to score a couple of goals, those are the moments I am going to look back on fondly.
“It was gorgeous. We were like on the beach. For one of our games, we had to fly out to a tiny island and it was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It had coconut trees, crystal clear blue water and white sands, it was unreal. That’s the cool thing about football, being able to travel and see the world through it. It gives you a pretty unique lens on life. I’m lucky to grow up in Oceania too I guess.”