By Rod Gilmour
Alex Malzer could become the first player born this century to play for Great Britain women after the Sussex teenager was called into the FIH Pro League squad.
GB Hockey announced on Thursday a 20-strong squad for their matches against USA and Argentina in the latest batch of global league fixtures.
Laura Unsworth is back from injury, while Scotland’s Amy Costello is set for her FIH Pro League debut after missing GB’s opening set of matches.
Goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh is called up, but it is the introduction of Malzer which is the biggest surprise.
The 18-year-old, a former student at Ardingly College, has represented England at under-16 level and is a multi-talented sportswoman after success at junior football level.
The University of Nottingham student is also the latest to emerge from the Elite Development Programme, following the likes of Tess Howard into the squad.
Coach Mark Hager, who is due to move to the UK full-time in April after his visa approval, said: “It’s great to have Laura Unsworth back with the team, she missed our past three games due to injury, so we’re excited to have someone with Laura’s experience and leadership back involved, along with Amy Costello and Sabbie Heesh.
“Young midfielder Alex Malzer has shown good development in our EDP programme and has now been provided with this opportunity to further assist her in growing on the world stage.”
Hollie Pearne-Webb is unavailable for the USA match but will be part of the squad for the Argentina game. GB Hockey haven’t announced a captain for the USA match.
Great Britain have two points from their first three FIHPL matches after securing a shoot-out win against China in their recent game.
Full squad (GB unless stated):
Giselle Ansley (Surbiton), Grace Balsdon (Canterbury), Nicki Cochrane (Beeston) (SCO), Amy Costello (University of Birmingham) (SCO), Emily Defroand (Surbiton), Sarah Evans (Surbiton), Sabbie Heesh (Surbiton), Tess Howard (Durham University), Jo Hunter (Surbiton), Sarah Jones (Holcombe) (WAL), Alex Malzer (University of Nottingham), Hannah Martin (Surbiton), Lizzie Neal (Loughborough Students), Lily Owsley (University of Birmingham), Hollie Pearne-Webb (Surbiton), Suzy Petty (Wimbledon), Ellie Rayer (East Grinstead), Sarah Robertson (Hampstead & Westminster) (SCO), Anna Toman (Wimbledon), Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead) (ENG)