Anna O’ Flanagan is Ireland women’s all-time top scorer with 81 goals in 207 appearances. She played a starring role in Ireland’s World Cup Silver finish. Beginning her hockey days at Rathgar Junior School, Anna featured in all the games at the London World Cup in 2018.
With Ireland qualifying for the Olympics for the first time in their history, it’s a special
time for Anna and the nation’s hockey lovers. Let’s look at a synopsis of her hockey career: O’ Flanagan played field hockey for Rathgar Junior School and Muckross Park College.
In 2002 she captained the Rathgar Junior School girls team.
Anna O’ Flanagan’s Club Career
In 2015–16, together with Chloe Watkins and Nicola Evans, O’ Flanagan was a member of the Hermes team that won the Women’s Irish Hockey League title and the EY Champions Trophy. In the EY Champions Trophy final, O’ Flanagan scored twice in a 3–1 win over Pegasus.
In 2015–16, together with Chloe Watkins and Nicola Evans, O’ Flanagan was a forward for the Hermes team that won the Women’s Irish Hockey League title and the EY Champions Trophy. In the EY Champions Trophy final, O’ Flanagan scored twice in a 3–1 win over Pegasus.
Anna O’ Flanagan’s International Career
She featured in all of Ireland’s games throughout the London World Cup, scoring twice. She played in pool games against the United States, India, and England, the quarter-final against India, the semi-final against Spain and the final against the Netherlands. During the tournament O’ Flanagan scored twice.
Anna and Ireland women’s team defied the odds to claim the silver medal at the Vitality
Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018. Ireland entered the competition with the second lowest ranking of any team competing in London with FIH World Ranking of 16th. However, only Alyson Annan’s wonderful Netherlands team ended finishing higher in the final standings.
O’Flanagan, told the press that Ireland’s triumph greatly captured the Irish public’s attention. This was underpinned by the 6000 fans that flocked to Dublin’s Energia Park Stadium for two sell-out FIH Olympic Qualification matches against Canada in November 2019. The tense double headers against the Canadians finished nil – nil, but the home fans ended up jubilant. Ireland’s women secured Olympic qualification for the first time in their history thanks to a dramatic 4-3 victory in the shoot-out.
In an interview with FIH Anna was asked who has been the biggest influence on her career. She said it was very hard to pick one person and that she has learned from every coach that she’s played under. She put a lot of her success to being self driven and pushing herself as hard as she can. She also said there are a lot of team mates she
really looks up to and aspires to be like them.
Anna says she’s ruthless as a player and her competitive streak drives her on to success.
When asked: What is your proudest moment Anna replied:
“It has to be qualifying for the Olympic Games. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest or the nicest hockey that has ever been played, or the nicest conditions, but for us as a team and me as an individual, it is something that we have always aspired to achieve. We’ve been working on it for so many years, so to eventually achieve that dream is so special. To be able to do it in Dublin in front of a home crowd was incredible.”
The recent pandemic disrupted training for the Olympics. Anna said at the time of the outbreak:
We are all worried, anxious and stressed. The unknown can be a scary place. But you can’t let your mind spin out of control so you can no longer be effective for yourself and your loved ones. ‘
and asked her followers on Twitter to stick to guidelines.
For us, we were busy training for the Olympics and, with the postponement there, things were all put on hold. Luckily, over the past couple of weeks we have been able to get out and train a bit more, and we’ll be getting back out onto the pitch very shortly. We haven’t quite got back out onto the pitch just yet, but we are getting close to it and we are looking forward to that.”