GB women’s coach Mark Hager has taken his near-to-full national programme to Belfast for a three-match series against Ireland, which starts this weekend. Hager has 25 players at his disposal – a rare commodity since the Australian took over as national coach.
Captain Hollie Pearne-Webb, midfielder Hannah Martin and Giselle Ansley, out of action since the 2019 Olympic qualifiers, all return while Emily Defroand is missing due to injury.
The non-Test matches are set for Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday on the BBC Sport NI website, BBC iPlayer and the FIH’s Watch Hockey app.
Great Britain’s performance director Ed Barney said: “This trip presents a huge opportunity to the programme. Having committed some hard yards at Bisham, the players and staff are relishing the opportunity to compete on the international stage.
“With future trips planned and the FIH Hockey Pro League shortly upon us, these matches mark the start of an important competitive phase leading into the Tokyo Olympics.”
The matches will be GB’s first since the Pro League last autumn. Following the short Belfast trip – GB last played on Irish soil 13 years ago – GB participate at home in the FIH Pro League.
They face China, Argentina and USA in May.