Olympic gold medallist Hollie Pearne-Webb will captain Great Britain in their opening three FIH Pro League games. The defender, who is the most capped player in the 20-strong squad named on Wednesday, took the armband during the Champions Trophy and will continue to lead the team in Alex Danson’s absence through injury.
The women’s squad travel out to the Southern Hemisphere alongside the Great Britain men’s squad who will also face New Zealand and Australia before the women head to China for their third game of the FIH’s new competition.
Pearne-Webb is joined by fellow Olympic gold medallists Lily Owsley and Giselle Ansley in the squad whilst the group also features six players with fewer than 20 senior international caps: Holly Hunt, Holly Munro, Lizzie Neal, Erica Sanders, Amy Tennant and the hugely entertaining Tess Howard. Three of those, (Munro, Neal, and Hunt) are set to make their debuts at this level.
After a bit of high stakes dealing, a lot of Sainsbury’s Lego Cards and promises of an exclusive with Olympic Dave we’ve got hold of @_tess_howard ‘s post match interview. #BringTheDrums pic.twitter.com/xXttr6F04G
— CambridgeCity Hockey (@cchcuk) 25 November 2018
Scotland are represented in the form of goalkeeper Nicki Cochrane and Sarah Robertson whilst Wales’ Sarah Jones, who has 97 international caps to her name is also included.
Mark Hager, recently appointed as Head Coach will join up with the squad and share the duties with David Ralph who has been Acting Head Coach until now. Wales Head Coach Kevin Johnson is also part of the coaching staff and will provide his own valuable support and knowledge whilst Hager gets to know the group.
Ralph told Great Britain Hockey:
“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.”
Great Britain face the Blacksticks in Christchurch on 8 February. They then play Australia in Perth on 16 February before facing China in Changzhou on 23 February.
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.