– Alex Danson to lead both GB and England
– Pearne-Webb and Unsworth named vice-captains
– England fly out to New Zealand for World League Finals today
– Vitality announced as title sponsor of 2018 Hockey Women’s World Cup
Alex Danson has been named Great Britain & England’s women’s hockey team’s captain having been voted in by her teammates.
She will now lead England at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London next summer, as well as the Commonwealth Games in April.
The 32-year-old took the captaincy reigns for England on a temporary basis this summer and 16 years after making her international debut will now lead both England and Great Britain.
Alex made her first international appearance back in 2001 and has gone on to represent Great Britain and England a combined 286 times scoring 105 goals.
The forward’s first task will be to lead England at the World League Finals in New Zealand between the 17 and 26 November with all England’s matches being shown live on BT Sport.
Fellow Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists Hollie Pearne-Webb and Laura Unsworth have both been appointed as vice-captains for England and Great Britain.
Danson said: “It is an unbelievable honour. I never thought that I would take on that kind of role. It’s a huge honour to have that mandate from the staff and players.
“To hear that from players, it’s the only place I hear their feedback and it’s important. It felt very, very special. I found out on the field and we had an email through from our sport psychologist and all the players came and gave me a massive hug. It was amazing and very special indeed.
“I try and encourage others to take the lead and to do our jobs as a team and lead by example and that’s very much how I’ll do it. It’s about showing responsibility, continuing to work so hard – that will be the main thing.”
Head coach Danny Kerry added: “We have invested good time in looking at leadership and what it means for our context and our vision. The athlete squad have considered the qualities and skills needed, and the model of leadership that will serve us well over the next period.
“As part of that process the squad have given Alex Danson a huge mandate to be the captain of the squad. I’d like to put on record how well the athletes engaged in this process over many hours of discussion.
“On a personal level I am delighted for Alex, her depth of experiential learning, her understanding of herself and her passion for the game, the team, the players, will serve her and the team incredibly well over the next period.
“In High Performance Sport there is nothing more certain than the fact that there will be difficult times. Alex has the qualities and skills that will help us navigate those times and we all look forward to working and supporting each other in that endeavour.”
Performance Director Ed Barney added: “The first year of the Tokyo cycle has been exciting, rewarding and demonstrated the potential that lies within the women’s programme for repeated medal winning success. I wish Alex and the leadership group all the very best over the coming months and years – what will I’m sure, be an exciting time.”