Sunday, July 25, 2021

Laura Unsworth set for third GB Olympic women’s hockey campaign

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

Nine Olympic debutants compared to the men’s 12, the GB women’s hockey squad unveiled on Thursday had no surprise bolters ahead of next month’s Olympics.

Laura Unsworth, who has 276 combined caps, is set to become the most experienced GB hockey Olympian across both genders when she competes in her third Games.

The East Grinstead defender will be joined by six Rio champions as they bid to defend their title. Hollie Pearne-Webb, who slotted home the final shoot-out strike in Rio, captains the side.

Izzy Petter and Fiona Crackles, 20 and 21 respectively, are the youngest members of the women’s squad and have been ever present since being handed their debuts by Mark Hager.

Welsh duo and partners Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson are also part of the women’s team while Scotland’s Sarah Robertson is named. In all, Welsh and Scottish athletes number just five of the 32 athletes across both squads.

There will be considerable disappointment for Jo Hunter, who missed out on selection and is the wife of George Pinner, who will travel as a reserve goalkeeper in the men’s team staying outside of the village. Hunter will also travel in the same capacity.

Sarah Evans will also travel as an accredited ravelling reserve after she narrowly missed out on Rio selection five years ago and she will be joined by Amy Costello.

There was no selection for Lizzie Neal and Esme Burge, who have featured for England recently.

Hager said: “For many of our Great Britain squad this has been a five-year journey in the making. Narrowing our squad down from 26 has been extremely difficult and highlighted the depth and talent we have. I have been humbled by how our entire Great Britain squad has supported each other through the selection process.

“There is a lot of potential in this team and I am very excited to see what this group of not only talented athletes, but exceptional people can bring in Tokyo. We have a good balance of experience within the group to draw upon as we continue to challenge each other, and I am looking forward to seeing this group of athletes perform on the world stage.”

Team GB Olympic women’s squad:

Giselle Ansley
Gace Balsdon
Fiona Crackles
Maddie Hinch (GK)
Sarah Jones
Hannah Martin
Shona McCallin
Lily Owsley
Hollie Pearne-Webb (C)
Izzy Petter
Ellie Rayer
Sarah Robertson
Anna Toman
Susannah Townsend
Laura Unsworth
Leah Wilkinson

Women’s reserves

Amy Costello
Sarah Evans

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