The Great Britain women’s squad to face New Zealand, Australia and China in the FIH Pro League has been named.
The squad travel out to Oceania this evening alongside their male counterparts this Wednesday ahead of their double header matches against New Zealand and Australia, before the women travel on to China.
Our women’s side face three teams ranked in the top ten in the world, and we have selected a talented squad with a number of new, high potential players that will bring vibrancy, energy and excitement to the team. Holly Hunt, Holly Munro and Lizzie Neal could make their international debuts, while Tess Howard has also been selected after impressing in her first senior international competition at the Hockey Champions Trophy in November 2018.
Hollie Pearne-Webb, who won gold with GB at the Rio 2016 Olympics, is the most capped player in the squad and will captain the side. Alex Danson is among a number of players who are currently unavailable for selection.
Sarah Jones represents Wales as part of this GB squad and could reach a century of international appearances having made 97 to date, 91 of them for her home nation. Scotland are represented by both Sarah Robertson and Nikki Cochrane. England’s Anna Toman is three appearances away from 50 international caps.
As Acting Head Coach for the women’s squad before the appointment of Mark Hager, David Ralph commented: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for an exciting team to showcase what they are capable of, to perform against some of the best teams in the world, and set us on our path as GB for the qualification process for the Olympics.
“Hopefully there will be a big crowd and good atmosphere at the games. We’re in this sport to play in big events, every one of these games is very important, we’re going into their back yard and we’re excited about delivering on the pitch.
“The FIH Pro League is incredibly important on two fronts. Firstly as an event in itself and a revolution for the sport. Secondly, this year it plays a key part in Olympic qualification so we’re very excited about playing our first games in the tournament.”
New coach Mark Hager will meet up with the squad in New Zealand ahead of the first game, and will share coaching responsibilities with David Ralph and Kevin Johnson as he gets to know the players for the first time.
The new FIH Pro League has started in fine fashion, with 31 goals in the first six women’s and men’s matches. Great Britain’s men secured a superb 6-5 win in their first game, coming from 4-1 down to beat Spain in Valencia.
GB women’s squad to face New Zealand, Australia and China
Giselle Ansley (ENG)
Grace Balsdon (ENG)
Nikki Cochrane (SCO)
Emily Defroand (ENG)
Sarah Evans (ENG)
Tess Howard (ENG)
Holly Hunt (ENG)
Sarah Jones (WAL)
Hannah Martin (ENG)
Holly Munro (ENG)*
Lizzie Neal (ENG)
Lily Owsley (ENG)
Hollie Pearne-Webb (Capt) (ENG)
Suzy Petty (ENG)
Jo Hunter (ENG)
Ellie Rayer (ENG)
Sarah Robertson (SCO)
Erica Sanders (ENG)
Amy Tennant (ENG)
Anna Toman (ENG)
*Holly Munro will join up with the squad ahead of the Australia fixture.
GB’s women’s team will play their first FIH Pro League match on home soil in April against USA and tickets can be purchased for selected matches - click here to book yours.
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com