England women have accepted an invitation to play two Test Matches against Germany at the beginning of October. The games will be played during the Men’s Hamburg Masters tournament and will, according to Head Coach Danny Kerry, present “an excellent opportunity to expose a number of players to senior international hockey of a very high level.”
The squad of 17 includes only five players with England caps, although Susie Gilbert and Sam Quek both have Great Britain appearances under their belt as they were part of the training squad for this summer’s Olympic Games.
Eight players; Sophie Bray, Susie Gilbert, Abi Harper, Maddie Hinch, Gemma Ible, Katie Long, Sarah Page and Sam Quek have all been on England duty recently helping the U21 side to win the bronze medal at the recent EuroHockey Junior Nations Championships in Valencia, a position which earned the side qualification for the 2009 Junior World Cup.
Sally Walton is the most experienced international in the side with 39 England caps and 5 Great Britain caps to her name, whilst Trojan’s Sophie Bray is the youngest member of the squad at 18-years-old.
Germany finished fourth at the recent Olympics in Beijing after losing out to Argentina 3-1 in the bronze medal match. Great Britain finished in sixth spot and were defeated 5-1 by the Germans in their opening match of the Games, but with the Olympics now over, attentions return to the England side.
Danny Kerry explains “Members of the 2008 Olympic Squad have been given a period of recovery and we will be looking hard at who, in this group, takes the opportunity to push for consideration in the new cycle. I'm sure that as a completely new team we will face tremendous pressure from the German side but, facing up to such pressure and still delivering, is what this level of sport is about".
Thursday 2 October: Germany v England, 1800hrs (local), 1700hrs (BST)
Friday 3 October: Germany v England, 1300hrs (local), 1200hrs (BST)
Ashleigh Ball (Bowdon Hightown)
Sophie Bray (Trojans)
Tash Brennan (Canterbury)
Gemma Darrington (Leicester)
Susie Gilbert (Birminghan Uni)
Abi Harper (Leicester)
Maddie Hinch (Loughborough Students)
Gemma Ible (Clifton)
Katie Long (Leicester)
Hannah Macleod (Leicester)
Sarah Page (Birmingham Uni)
Sam Quek (Hightown)
Natalie Seymour (Canterbury)
Sally Walton (Hightown)
Kerry Williams (Leicester)
Susie Townsend (Canterbury)
Source: England Hockey