Saturday, April 20, 2024

Hockey Pro League: Great Britain coach Danny Kerry to unleash more talent

Great Britain coach Danny Kerry admitted he took a “calculated decision” in picking his first Pro League men’s squad as he looks to find more depth in 2019.

GB start with an away trip to Spain on Friday before travelling to face New Zealand and Australia in February and Kerry has included more untested talent.

Nottingham University’s Josh Pavis is set to win his first senior international cap against either Australia or New Zealand, while Scotland’s Lee Morton has also been included after making his GB debut last summer.

Kerry said: “I’m excited by the inclusion of Josh Pavis from the GB Elite Development Programme squad. He’s by no means made it but is someone that will keep the rest of the squad on their toes.

“Lee Morton has very fast hands, he’s very direct and has a competitive instinct. I’m excited to include him as well.

“Depth doesn’t happen magically, you have to take calculated decisions about whether to include people or not, that was very much in our minds from the World Cup with the inclusion of Zach Wallace, Rhys Smith and others. Now we have Lee and Josh who are part of growing that depth.

“You have to give young players opportunities to develop. You have to push established players and make them feel the competition.”

Will Calnan, Rhys Smith, Zach Wallace and Jack Waller retain their places after featuring at the recent World Cup in India, while Chris Griffiths makes a welcome return after a lengthy injury.

Meanwhile Sam Ward has recovered from concussion after missing the World Cup, but Liam Ansell, who was one of England’s stand out players in India, is injured, along with Harry Martin.

With Barry Middleton deciding upon an international break, Adam Dixon will be GB’s most experienced player on the trips, while Michael Hoare has not been picked.

With Spain beating Belgium in a shoot-out win to earn an extra point in the opening FIH Pro League match at the weekend, the hosts should not be taken lightly and an opening win would kick start GB’s Olympic qualification hopes towards Tokyo 2020.

Total Hockey


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