Source: GB Hockey

GB Squads Selected For Opening 2020 FIH Pro League Matches

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Great Britain’s opening 2020 FIH Pro League squads have been selected, with 22 members in each team set to travel to play Australia (1-2 February) and New Zealand (8-9 February).

Rupert Shipperley is in line to make his GB debut having been called up for the first time, having impressed while training with the squad before and after Christmas.

He joins fellow Welsh international Jacob Draper – who has recently been handed a full-time place in the men’s programme – in the squad and will wear the number 8 shirt.

Ashley Jackson, Mark Gleghorne, Liam Ansell, Luke Taylor and Chris Griffiths also return having not featured in the FIH Olympic Qualifier against Malaysia in November.

Mark Hager has selected all 18 players who saw GB’s women book their place at Tokyo 2020 by overcoming Chile at the end of last year, while also welcoming back Sarah Jones after a period of illness.

Grace Balsdon, Esme Burge and Ellie Rayer also return while Sarah Evans, Emily Defroand and Amy Tennant miss out through injury. As previously announced, Alex Danson-Bennett is back training at Bisham Abbey but was never in consideration for this trip.

This will be the first time both teams experience the new format of the FIH Pro League, playing two double headers away from home this season before hosting Australia and New Zealand in London during the 2021 campaign.

GB women to take on Australia (1-2 Feb) & New Zealand (8-9 Feb)

1) Maddie Hinch (GK) (ENG)

4) Laura Unsworth (ENG)

6) Anna Toman (ENG)

7) Hannah Martin (ENG)

9) Susannah Townsend (ENG)

10) Sarah Robertson (SCO)

13) Ellie Rayer (ENG)

14) Tess Howard (ENG)

17) Sarah Jones (WAL)

18) Giselle Ansley (ENG)

20) Hollie Pearne-Webb (C) (ENG)

22) Lizzie Neal (ENG)

24) Shona McCallin (ENG)

25) Sabbie Heesh (GK) (ENG)

26) Lily Owsley (ENG)

27) Jo Hunter (ENG)

29) Esme Burge (ENG)

31) Grace Balsdon (ENG)

32) Amy Costello (SCO)

33) Izzy Petter (ENG)

34) Charlotte Watson (SCO)

35) Leah Wilkinson (WAL)

GB men to take on Australia (1-2 Feb) & New Zealand (8-9 Feb)

1) George Pinner (GK) (ENG)

2) Harry Gibson (GK) (ENG)

3) Luke Taylor (ENG)

5) David Ames (ENG)

7) Alan Forsyth (SCO)

8) Rupert Shipperley (WAL)

9) Harry Martin (ENG)

10) Chris Griffiths (ENG)

11) Ian Sloan (ENG)

14) Mark Gleghorne (ENG)

15) Phil Roper (ENG)

16) Adam Dixon (C) (ENG)

17) Ashley Jackson (ENG)

21) Liam Ansell (ENG)

22) David Condon (ENG)

25) Jack Waller (ENG)

26) James Gall (ENG)

27) Liam Sanford (ENG)

29) Tom Sorsby (ENG)

31) Will Calnan (ENG)

32) Zach Wallace (ENG)

33) Jacob Draper (WAL)

Hampstead & Westminster’s Shipperley is no stranger to international hockey, having played 70 times for Wales since his debut back in 2014. He also captained them to an impressive sixth-placed finish during the 2019 EuroHockey Championships.

And now he cannot wait to pull on a Great Britain shirt for the first time and step out alongside the rest of the squad in just a few weeks.

“I was absolutely buzzing when I found out,” he said. “It’s been something I’ve been working towards for a long time so to finally get an opportunity to play is really exciting.

“I’m really looking forward to it. Obviously it’s a really big moment. It will be nice to play with some of these players instead of against them in an international game.”

GB men’s head coach Danny Kerry said: “I’m very excited to get going in 2020 FIH Pro League with the slightly new format, which will also give us good information for Tokyo where we have some double headers.

“Australia is a fantastic fixture. They are rightly one of the leading teams in the world at the moment and it’s always a fantastic game so we’re looking forward to that. New Zealand have also got more of their older and more experienced players back so I’m expecting them to be stronger than our previous matches.

“He’s been around the group for a little while now. He’s very athletic, has good technical skills and a fantastic work rate and we want to expose him against some of the leading sides to see if he’s got what it takes.”

Hager added: “It’s a really exciting time. We’ve got good versatility in our squad. It’s exciting to be able to start and get underway.

“It will be an interesting concept playing the back-to-back games, which we had a little bit of experience of with the FIH Olympic Qualifier. This is an opportunity for us to start well with some good challenges – Australia played in the Grand Final last year and New Zealand have got a few players who have come back which will be interesting.