How’s this for England and GB women’s much-used mantra of inspiring the next generation? “I loved the way Kate Richardson-Walsh dominated in defence and her reading of the game. She was definitely someone I admired and she stood out for me.” So says Fiona Crackles, one of British hockey’s cohort of new kids on the block, who was still a rising 16-year-old junior when KRW led Team GB to Olympic gold.
From growing up on a farm in the Lake District to the cauldron of Olympic hockey, Crackles, 22, has also stood out in her meteoric rise to the senior squad, ever since she won accolades for her debut performance against the Netherlands in the Pro League, Covid bubble of 2020.
Former coach Mark Hager’s desire to blood young talent led to Crackles’ call-up to the GB programme in January 2021 and onwards to Tokyo, while this weekend she will once again line up against the Dutch.
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