Latest News

Hollie Pearne-Webb to captain as Great Britain set out Olympic defence

Hollie Pearne-Webb is one of several Surbiton players in GB squad PIC: Simon Parker

By Rod Gilmour

It is now regarded as a quiz question by right, albeit a slightly tricky one still for those hockey newbies who watched from one of millions of TV sets in the UK.

Who took the last shot by a Great Britain women’s stick to win the Rio Olympic shoot out final? It was, of course, Hollie Pearne-Webb.

Two years on and Pearne-Webb, often touted as a future captain, will be the first to lead out Great Britain at this month’s Champions Trophy in China.

The news of Pearne-Webb’s captaincy was confirmed on Thursday as Great Britain women prepare, somewhat remarkably, for their first tournament since winning the Olympic title.

Pearne-Webb was heralded as “one of the most underrated players in world hockey” by former assistant coach Craig Keegan in an interview with The Hockey Paper last year.

In a ringing endorsement of her credentials, Keegan added that the defender would make an “exceptional” captain one day.

China offers her that the chance, although not by right. Pearne-Webb replaces Alex Danson, who misses the trip due to picking up concussion on holiday. She joins Nicola White and Shona McCallin, who are also recovering from long-term head knocks.

As a GB squad, stand-in coach David Ralph has chosen two Scots – Amy Costello and Sarah Robertson – and one Welsh player in Sarah Jones.

Otherwise, the team consists of England’s World Cup team.

However trio Jo Hunter, Ellie Rayer, Kathryn Lane, who all played in the World Cup, have not been named.

Erica Sanders, Tess Howard – a geography student at Durham University – and Jones will all make their GB debuts, as will England goalkeeper Amy Tennant.

Ralph said: “This is our first tournament outing as Great Britain in two years, and it provides us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate our abilities and continue our growth towards competing in the FIH Pro League in 2019.

The Great Britain squad is a mix of experience and youth

“We would like to congratulate Amy, Sarah, Tess and Erica who will all be winning their first Great Britain caps in Changzhou.

“The Champions Trophy presents a great opportunity for all of them to showcase their talents, and is a justified reward for their development and performances.”

GB, who participate due to being Olympic champions, take on Argentina, Australia, China, Japan and the Netherlands in what will be the last Champions Trophy before the launch of January’s glitzy, global FIH Pro League.

The Pro League, featuring the top nine sides across the men’s and women’s game, also acts as Olympic qualification towards Tokyo 2020.

GB squad:

Sophie Bray (East Grinstead)*, Amy Costello (Uni of Birmingham)**, Sarah Evans (Surbiton)*, Sabbie Heesh (GK) (Surbiton)*, Tess Howard ( Durham University)*, Sarah Jones (Holcombe)***, Hannah Martin (Surbiton)*, Lily Owsley (Uni of Birmingham)*, Hollie Pearne-Webb (C) (Surbiton)*, Suzy Petty (Wimbledon)*, Sarah Robertson (Hampstead & Westminster)**, Erica Sanders (Surbiton)*, Amy Tennant (GK) (Reading)*, Anna Toman (Wimbledon)*, Susannah Townsend (Club an der Alster)*, Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead)*
* denotes English athlete, ** denotes Scottish athlete, *** denotes Welsh athlete



Tagged , ,