Saturday, July 20, 2024

Paris Olympics Hockey: Team GB men squad opts for bold selections

Team GB men will head to the Paris Olympics with one of their strongest squads in recent memory as Great Britain goes in search of a first men’s hockey medal since 1988’s memorable gold.

Paul Revington, the GB coach, has had one of the hardest decisions to make of his coaching career in picking his 16-strong squad for next month’s sporting jamboree. Meanwhile, Team GB women’s squad has also been revealed.

As expected, Sam Ward has been selected to spearhead the forward lines, but there is no place for Nick Bandurak, who has been a formidable scorer since entering the international stage, or Alan Forsyth, who returned to the GB programme hoping to win a ticket at the third time of asking.

Revington, in what some believe to be a risky move, will instead rely on the likes of Ward, Phil Roper and Olympic debutant Gareth Furlong for penalty corner firepower, which could play a pivotal part in Paris with a raft of top nations in the mix for medals this summer.

Gareth Furlong celebrates his opener for GB PIC: WORLDSPORTPICS

Captain David Ames, 34, and Ward will represent Team GB for a third time while Jacob Draper, Rupert Shipperley, Roper, Ollie Payne, Jack Waller and Liam Sanford have been selected for their second Games.

In all, there are seven men making their Olympic debut, including bold calls on Welshman Furlong and Conor Williamson, who also made their GB debut during the recent FIH Pro League games in London.

Lee Morton is also a standout addition, the left-sided Scot having proved himself at international level with his powerful instinct for attacking hockey.

After chopping and changing his squad through the run of Pro League games, Revington has chosen largely from his Olympic qualifying squad – bar Williamson – from the Oman tournament in January.

However, there is no place for Brendan Creed, James Gall or Bandurak from that squad.

Williamson is part of a new cohort of GB and England players who have progressed from the successful junior ranks. Prior to last summer’s EuroHockey, Williamson had only six caps and memorably scored in England’s shoot-out win over Germany in the semi-final.

Should Ward be injured, there is no direct replacement and Revington will have to choose either of his reserves: Tim Nurse or Tom Sorsby.

READ MORE: Paris Olympics: Hockey schedule, match fixtures
Our full Olympic coverage of 2024 Games

Paris 2024 will revert to its existing rules for squad reserves — despite the threat of a heatwave during the Games this summer.

Revington said: “I’m incredibly proud to announce this group of athletes that will represent Team GB in Paris. This is the result of three years of effort, intensity, and real enjoyment together as a squad and we look forward to representing Great Britain on the biggest stage in our sport.

“The team that travels to Paris are only as strong as the squad around them and a reflection of the squad as a whole. Everyone has contributed unconditionally on our journey, adding immense value along the way and the selected athletes have the privilege of representing our Locker Room and their teammates at the Paris Olympic Games.

Ollie Payne will travel for his second Games and was picked ahead of James Masarelo PIC: Worldsportpics

“This team is also supported by world class coaches and practitioners who have been a huge part of the squad’s journey to this point. I would like to acknowledge their significant contributions over the past three years before we start our final push towards the Olympic Games.”

Team GB Men’s Hockey Squad:

James Albery, David Ames, Will Calnan, Jacob Draper, Gareth Furlong, David Goodfield, Lee Morton, Nick Park, Ollie Payne (GK), Phil Roper, Liam Sanford, Rupert Shipperley, Zach Wallace, Jack Waller, Sam Ward, Conor Williamson.
Reserves: James Mazarelo (GK), Tim Nurse, Tom Sorsby.

Total Hockey

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