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Hockey Pro League: Barry Middleton and Alex Danson not picked for Great Britain

Barry Middleton and Alex Danson, two of Great Britain’s most experienced campaigners, have not been included in the first FIH Pro League squads.

The new global league starts next month, replaces the World Leagues and acts as qualification for the World Cup and Olympics.

Middleton, 34, has opted to take a break from international hockey for the January to June Pro League dates, while Danson is still recovering from concussion sustained on summer holiday and goalkeeper Maddie Hinch had previously decided to take a break from hockey.

Middleton’s omission means he will have to wait a little longer to break the world caps record.

He currently has 432 caps and is 21 matches behind Dutch great Teun de Nooijer’s 453.

Middleton was set to break it around next summer’s EuroHockey championships, but that target will now likely be hit in 2020.

The GB women’s side have named 22 players in their Pro League squad, with the men naming 25. Each of the nine competing nations can pick 32 players and Danson could be included at a later date.

The men start their campaign away to Spain on Jan 25, with the return fixture acting as their first home match of the year on May 4.

Scotland’s Alan Forsyth is the only non-English player named in Danny Kerry’s squad.

Nicki Cochrane, Amy Costello and Sarah Robertson form a Scottish trio called up for the women’s side.

However, there is no place for Wales’ Sarah Jones, who played in last month’s Champions Trophy.

There is a first call up for England’s Lizzie Neal, who follows Tess Howard in stepping up from the GB development programme.

GB women
Giselle Ansley, Grace Balsdon, Sophie Bray, Nicki Cochrane, Amy Costello, Emily Defroand, Sarah Evans, Sabbie Heesh, Tess Howard, Jo Hunter, Hannah Martin, Lizzie Neal, Lily Owsley, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Suzy Petty, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Robertson, Erica Sanders, Amy Tennant, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth.

GB men
David Ames, Liam Ansell, Will Calnan, David Condon, Brendan Creed, Adam Dixon, Alan Forsyth, James Gall, Harry Gibson, Mark Gleghorne, David Goodfield, Chris Griffiths, Michael Hoare, Harry Martin, George Pinner, Phil Roper, Liam Sanford, Ian Sloan, Rhys Smith, Luke Taylor, Zach Wallace, Jack Waller, Sam Ward, Henry Weir, Ollie Willars.

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