Ashley Jackson has decided to leave the Great Britain senior team ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
After speaking with those close to him and reflecting on a series of recent injuries, he has decided to exit the program and concentrate on his well-being and exciting interests outside of international hockey.
Ashley made his international debut in 2006 and has since established himself as one of hockey’s greatest players. He has made 250 appearances for England and the Great Britain, winning seven medals, including gold at the 2009 EuroHockey Championships with England.
In 2009, he was named the FIH Young Player of the Year, the first British athlete to do so, and he was named to the FIH World All Stars XI in 2009 and 2010. Ashley is also one of only 24 athletes to have competed in three Olympic Games for Great Britain.
Ashley Jackson, Great Britain’s Record Goal Scorer
He is England’s and Great Britain’s all-time leading goalscorer, with a total of 137. He also has the second-highest goal total for Great Britain at the Olympics, with 11 goals to equal Alex Danson-Bennett’s and only beaten by Sean Kerly’s 16.
He scored an incredible 31 international goals in 2014, the most by any England and Great Britain player in a calendar year in recent memory. Jackson has scored 23 goals in 2009 and 20 goals the following year, the most by any player since his international debut.
Ashley returned to the senior program in 2019 after a break following Rio 2016 – during which time he played ice hockey for Basingstoke Bison – and helped Great Britain make hockey history by playing in front of 11,500 fans at Harlequins’ Twickenham Stoop. In the same year, he appeared in the inaugural FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Final and participated in his fifth EuroHockey Championships.
However, due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, a series of injuries, and personal reasons, he decided to take a break for the time being.
“It’s always a pleasure to play for my country,” Ashley said. ” Things haven’t gone quite as planned for this summer, but I’m hoping I haven’t worn the shirt for the last time”.
“I’d like to express my gratitude to Danny Kerry, Ed Barney, Adam Dixon, and the boys for the memories they’ve given me since my return to the programme, and I wish them all the best for the summer.”
Ed Barney, the Performance Director for Great Britain Hockey, said, “We’re sad to see Ash leave the program.” Since his debut in 2007, Ash has made a major contribution to the England and Great Britain men’s teams, both on and off the field.
“Ash has brought a tremendous amount of insight, knowledge, and grounding to the squad with his immense experience. We understand that this hasn’t been an easy decision, but it’s one that Ash has given much thought to.
“We wish Ash all the best in the coming months and hope that England and Great Britain Hockey will continue to work closely with him and his enthusiasm for the game in the years ahead.”
“Following the difficult months inside the program, I understand and appreciate Ash’s decision to move away,” said Danny Kerry, head coach of the Great Britain men’s squad. ” Ash has shown a strong sense of character and determination to persevere through a number of recovery and physical conditioning processes”.
“Throughout this time, Ash has made a significant and mature contribution to the advancement of his teammates. As a result of his time, energy, and experience, their hands will be “looser on their sticks,” and I know all those who have worked with him during this cycle will be grateful.
“On a personal level, I’ve enjoyed Ash’s company, his enthusiasm for the game, and seeing his personal growth. I wish Ash well as he recharges his battery, and I look forward to keeping in touch with him to ‘talk shop”.
Ashley is looking forward to being able to play with Old Georgians HC when club hockey resumes, and he also wants to get back on the ice.
Great Britain Hockey would like to express its gratitude to Ashley for his outstanding contributions and efforts over the past fifteen years, and we wish him all the best in the future.