WILKINSON and Watson give GB much needed strength


Six Rio 2016 gold medallists have been selected for the team to take on Chile in our do-or-die FIH Olympic Qualifier on 2-3 November.
Hollie Pearne-Webb – who scored the shootout winner three years ago – will captain a side that also includes Giselle Ansley, Maddie Hinch, Shona McCallin, Susannah Townsend and Laura Unsworth.
With less than a year until Tokyo 2020, this will be the last chance for both teams to qualify for the Olympics.

The winner will be determined by an aggregate scoreline taken from the two games at 14:00 on Saturday 2 November and 12:00 on Sunday 3 November.

In addition, Charlotte Watson and Leah Wilkinson are set to play their first international games at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
Watson made her Great Britain debut during a trip to Japan back in July and scored her first goal during a recent Test series against India
Wilkinson – Wales’ most capped team sport athlete of all time – made her own maiden GB appearance in that series and featured in all three games as her side took the overall victory.

They are two of five changes from the team that played against New Zealand at The Stoop on 23 June in our last competitive home fixture, with McCallin also set to play her first game in front of #ThePride since 2017 and Sarah Evans also returning.

Ahead of the crucial double-header, women’s head coach Mark Hager said: “It’s an exciting and very well-balanced group. 

“We’ve brought in Leah Wilkinson to give us another key defender; she’s deserved her place after playing well in the recent India Test series. Charlotte Watson has some good raw speed and the ability to put the ball in the back of the net, so she’ll be quite an exciting addition.
“We’ve been training really well, it’s been a tough decision around selection as any number of our squad could have made the team. We’ve got a lot of girls in good form at the moment, we’re only a week away from the games so we’ve got to make sure we keep them confident and let them back themselves to go out there and play. 

“It’s helpful having the players from Rio 2016, they can talk about their experiences and what it means for this group. You could take going to the Olympics for granted but those players are very good at keeping our team grounded and making sure that everyone understands every time you put that shirt on it means something and that it’s an honour to play for your country.”  

The men’s team for their FIH Olympic Qualifier against Malaysia is due to be announced at 15:00 on Tuesday 29 October.

GB Women’s Squad To Face Chile (2-3 November)Giselle Ansley (Surbiton) – ENGAmy Costello (East Grinstead) – SCOSarah Evans (Surbiton) – ENGSabbie Heesh (GK) (Surbiton) – ENGMaddie Hinch (GK) – ENGTess Howard (East Grinstead) – ENGHannah Martin (Surbiton) – ENGShona McCallin – ENGLizzie Neal (Loughborough Students) – ENGLily Owsley (Hampstead & Westminster) – ENGHollie Pearne-Webb (C) (Surbiton) – ENGIzzy Petter (Loughborough Students) – ENGAnna Toman (Wimbledon) – ENGSusannah Townsend – ENGSarah Robertson (Hampstead & Westminster) – SCOLaura Unsworth (East Grinstead) – ENGCharlotte Watson (Dundee Wanderers) – SCOLeah Wilkinson (Holcombe) – WAL

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