Monday, June 17, 2024

‘War of attrition’: Great Britain teams set for Hockey Pro League entrance

Hollie Pearne-Webb is set to reach her 100th Great Britain cap when she leads the women’s side in their opening FIH Pro League matches of the 2022/23 season – and become the 12th women’s player to reach the milestone in doing so.

The Pro League has new format changes this year, with mini tournaments taking place until next year’s champion is realised. GB women and men travel to Argentina where they also play the Netherlands in four games from Dec 13-19. 

Matches will be played at Santiago del Estero in Northern Argentina, which is a new venue for the GB teams, but will still be equally vociferous for the partisan home support.

With England reverting to GB for this year’s Pro League there are a raft of debuts set for this tour, while Harry Martin – the most experienced men’s player with 105 caps – returns to the full GB squad for the first time after being named a GB reserve for the Tokyo Olympics and since last year’s Euro campaign with England. Amy Costello, who was also a Tokyo reserve for GB women, is called up.

The seven players aiming to make their GB debuts include Scottish pair Fiona Burnet and Jen Eadie, while Flora Peel aims for her first cap after a breakthrough year with England. For the men, Nick Bandurak, Nick Park, James Mazarelo and Stuart Rushmere are hoping to line up for Britain for the first time.

David Ames is also back from injury, which will be a big boost for Paul Revington’s side. As it will be for England, when the majority of this squad revert back for January’s World Cup in India.

David Ames is back in international fold after injury

Revington said: “Argentina is one of the hardest nations to travel to and win hockey matches, not least because of the passion that comes from the stands and onto the pitch. 

“A few of our guys haven’t been to Argentina before and they can’t wait to play them in their own backyard.

“We’re also looking forward to playing the Netherlands while we are over there, our last games against them were a war of attrition and we’re looking forward to renewing that rivalry.”

VIEWPOINT: Can FIH Hockey Pro League changes finally add gloss?

Meanwhile, GB women will take on the top two in the world. “It’s a fantastic challenge for our group and these are our first competitive matches as GB in this cycle,” said Ralph.

“It’s a new venue for us in Santiago del Estero and we can’t wait to get going.”

Holly Hunt was originally selected in the women’s squad but has withdrawn through injury.

FIH Pro League fixtures

Women

Tue 13 Dec Great Britain v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Thu 15 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (W), 10pm UK time
Fri 16 Dec, Great Britain v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Sun 18 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (W), 10pm UK time

Men

Wed 14 Dec, Great Britain v Netherlands (M), 00:30am UK time
Fri 16 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (M), 00:30am UK time
Sat 17 Dec, Great Britain v Netherlands (M), 00:30am UK time
Mon 19 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (M), 00:30am UK time

ARG v NED

Wed 14 Dec, Argentina v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Thu 15 Dec, Argentina v Netherlands (M), 00:30am UK time
Sat 17 Dec, Argentina v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Sun 18 Dec, Argentina  v Argentina (M), 00:30am UK time

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