GUEST BLOG: England hockey player Ashleigh Ball
IN TWO weeks we will discover whether Britain has landed the prize of hosting the 2014 Hockey Men and Women's World Cup.
THINKING BIG: England and Slough's Ashleigh Ball is relishing the chance to compete in the 2014 World Cup on home soil (Ady Kerry)
It would be massive for us as players. The biggest home crowd I've played in front of is just over 2000 people, which was at the Champions Trophy in Nottingham this summer.
Exactly one year previously we had come bottom of the pack and suffered a heavy 7-1 defeat to China.
This time round we claimed bronze medals, and beat the eventual winners, Argentina, 3-0. All in front of our friends and families.
The Olympics present a chance to dwarf this number considerably. And I think I have an idea of what that may feel like.
We- England women- played Argentina, in Argentina, in the World Cup this autumn. As we entered the ground before the game, we watched the Argentinian girls rock their massive double-decker coach from side to side as they waited to get into the stadium too. Their buzz and excitement was tangible.
One by one they strolled onto the pitch to ear-splitting support from their fans.
These girls, including Luciana Aymar, eight-time FIH World Player of the Year, lapped up the support.
You could see they held themselves differently to when they were on our turf in Nottingham. We lost to them on a Friday night in front of the packed stands. Lining up in the tunnel, the players banged on the railings and shouted to each other and did what they could to intimidate us.
The national anthem was breathtaking as 19,000 dancing fans waved their arms passionately to their lyric-less anthem.
We played as hard as we could but they seemed to be an irresistible force on their way to the final where they faced the Olympic Champions, Holland.
Within 15 minutes they were 2-0 up and went on to crush the Dutch 4-2.
Every Argentinian played to be the winning goal-scorer, the hero in defence, no one hid and no one faded as the game went on.
Playing for our countries, there should always be that passion and commitment from every player, every game.
But in front of this crowd, Argentina had an extra lift and motivation to succeed, and it definitely helped them to World Cup gold medals.
For the next two years, the dream of playing in front of a passionate British crowd at an Olympic Games will motivate me to do everything I can to be part of a gold-winning GB team in the summer 2012.
Inspiration is pretty hard to come by when you are exhausted, training in the dark, rain and cold, with mistakes punished by physical forfeits.
Sometimes you find yourself thinking: I just can't go on with this. But the prize is too great. The training over the next 2 years will fly past.
We haven't any time to waste and every session needs to make a difference to our game. A London Olympic Games on the horizon will daily provide the extra push, as it has done for the past year through the tough times.
And last week we saw the bid launched to host the 2014 women's and men's World Cups at the Olympic legacy facility.
If successful, this would be the first world-class event to come back to the Olympic site after the Games are over.
Some of us find it a bit difficult to look beyond 2012. But we are a young team, and for many players the chance to play a world event at home so soon after London will be an opportunity to hopefully build on the momentum hockey is picking up as a spectator sport.