Saturday, July 20, 2024

Paris Olympics Hockey: How Izzy Petter aims to use super strengths for Team GB women

Izzy Petter revealed she has undergone a brutal fitness regime to convert to a midfield role for her second Olympics, writes Tom Harle.

Petter won Olympic bronze at Tokyo 2020 as a striker and is now one of 10 returning players who feature in the 16-strong squad for Paris 2024.

Just three months ago, the 23-year-old, who has also been employed as GB’s No.1 runner at corners, was asked by women’s head coach David Ralph to move back into midfield.

“It still feels quite new but it’s exciting to get on the ball more,” said Petter. “I’ve got a bit more time to get used to it in four Pro League games.

“Physically, I wasn’t fit enough to play there and I’ve really worked hard on that – a lot of strength and conditioning! I’m getting used to being a lot more tired a lot more often.

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“I really enjoy carrying the ball, in big spaces I think that’s one of my super strengths.

“It was quite a surprise when Ralphie sat me down and told me but I thought, ‘we’ll go for it.’ Even up until last week, I wasn’t sure where I’d be playing.

“I’ve played there for my club, albeit it’s a very different level, but I have experience there and I know what the forwards need from me.”

Petter is playing her part in implementing a new attacking philosophy espoused by Ralph and led by assistant coach Katie Glynn.

“Ralphie wants us to play an exciting game and to score goals,” said Petter. “We’ve been working a lot on getting from outside the circle into the circle and getting more outcomes.

“We create a lot but we’re not as clinical as we could be, so we’re working on execution under pressure. We create a lot of chances, it’s just actually putting the ball in the goal.”

Izzy Petter runs with the ball for GB PIC: WORLDSPORTPICS /RODRIGO JARAMILLO

Team GB begin their campaign against Spain on 28 July, with their pool featuring Argentina, Australia, USA and South Africa.

Petter said: “I think we’re a team who people need to look out for. We often turn up at the Olympics. In Tokyo, we found ourselves in the semi-finals and probably didn’t think we would get there.

“Anything can happen in those high-pressure moments. The Dutch and the Argentinians are there to chase but we’re getting better at competing with those top teams.”

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