|Great Britain and England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch has been named the 2018 FIH Goalkeeper of the Year, picking up the award for the third year in a row.|
Hinch’s dominance of the prestigious accolade continues after she came out top in a public vote, fending off stern competition from Ayeisha McFerran, one of the stars of Ireland’s exceptional run to the final of the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup.
She also beat Australia’s Rachael Lynch, Maria Ruiz of Spain and China’s Ye Jiao to the prize.
Speaking about Hinch, Great Britain’s Performance Director Ed Barney said: “Congratulations to Maddie on an absolutely fantastic achievement.
“Over the past 10+ years Maddie has been a real presence, a dynamic goal keeper and a hugely respected international player by her teammates and the opposition.
“Maddie has made a phenomenal contribution to the achievements of England and Great Britain Hockey, not only in the women’s programme, but also across the sport in Great Britain.
“Her passion and commitment for the sport and goal keeping is something very special and valued by all. The award is thoroughly deserved and a mark of a very special contribution to the sport.”
It was certainly a busy 2018 for Hinch as she helped England to a Commonwealth Games bronze medal before also featuring in every game at the World Cup in front of thousands of adoring fans in London.
Christchurch, New Zealand played host to Great Britain’s first double header on Friday 8 February in the FIH Pro League as the men’s side continued their unbeaten start whilst the women’s team slipped to a loss in their opening match of the competition.
Great Britain’s men have been in prolific form in their opening FIH Pro League matches, notching six goals in consecutive games, this time putting New Zealand to the sword with a 6-2 victory.
Only Belgium have scored more in the competition so far (14) but they have played two additional matches. No team has scored more goals from Penalty Corners than Great Britain, who lead the way with five. Sam Ward also made history by becoming the first player to score an FIH Pro League hat trick.
Having made the perfect start in this exciting new competition by dispatching Spain and New Zealand away from home, Great Britain’s men are currently the only side in the competition with a 100% win ratio.
Great Britain’s women put up a valiant fight against a strong New Zealand side, falling to a 5-1 opening match defeat despite an even first-half, that puts them ninth in the table, level on points with China.
There was a first international cap for 20-year-old Lizzie Neal, who showed glimpses of real promise in her debut outing.
With several young players featuring in the match, there’s plenty of positives for the GB side who will be looking to get a win on the board in their next match.
Both sides are back in action next weekend, with GB’s men commencing another double header against Australia when they take on the Kookaburras at 07:30 GMT on Saturday 16 February. The women will then follow on immediately after against the Hockeyroos, with both games being shown live on BT Sport.
|Great Britain’s men earned an emphatic 6-2 win over New Zealand, but our women’s team went down 5-1 in an FIH Pro League double header in Christchurch.|
In the opening match, Adam Dixon scored in his first game since being confirmed as the new captain of Great Britain, while Sam Ward netted the competition’s very first hat-trick and there were two goals for Phil Roper.
The match made it two wins from two for Danny Kerry’s side, who are the only team with a 100% record at this very early stage of the event. James Gall made his 50th international apperance to round off a very positive game for the men.
Dixon said, “It’s been a great start to the competition. With a bit more time between games now we can take each match at full steam and peak for each weekend with our approach and tactics. It’s paid off for us so far!
“Winning breeds a winning mentality, this tournament allows us to come with a different approach and it’s very exciting.”
The women were less successful in their first FIH Pro League game, being beaten by a ruthless New Zealand side who won last year’s Commonwealth Games. Giselle Ansley scored GB’s goal with a penalty stroke, but an Olivia Merry hat-trick contributed hugely to New Zealand’s deserved victory.
Loughborough’s Lizzie Neal made her Great Britain debut, while there was representation from all three home nations across the fixtures, with Wales’ Sarah Jones and Scotland’s Sarah Robertson & Nikki Cochrane lining up for the women, and Scotland’s Alan Forsyth & Lee Morton representing the men.
Britain and New Zealand will play their return fixtures in London on June 23 when hockey goes to the Twickenham Stoop, home of Harlequins Rugby Club.
New Zealand 2
Woods 43 (PC); Inglis 44 (FG)
Great Britain 6
Ward 18 (PC), 33 (FG), 46 (FG); Roper 27 (PC), 40 (PC); Dixon 29 (PC)
Great Britain’s men made it two wins from two in the FIH Pro League with an exciting win away to New Zealand.
Sam Ward scored the first ever hat-trick in this competition, while Phil Roper hit two and new captain Adam Dixon also scored in a 6-2 victory.
Danny Kerry’s side were ruthless in the circle, and scored six for the second game in succession to go top of the table early on in the competition.
5-0 up after 40 minutes, GB conceded a couple of quick goals but a third for Sam Ward very quickly settled any nerves and it was a comfotable conclusion to the match.
The guys have very much hit the ground running, and with world number two Australia up next, they will look forward to their next game with confidence.
The game was also noteworthy for James Gall, who made his 50th international appearance.
Starting XI: Pinner, Taylor, Ames, Weir, Sanford, Dixon (c), Gall, Wallace, Roper, Ward, Forsyth
Subs used: Gibson, Creed, Griffiths, Morton, Willars, Sloan, Waller
New Zealand 5
Merry 5 (FG), 35 (FG), 51 (PC); Gunson 19 (PC), Robinson 59 (FG)
Great Britain 1
Ansley 11 (PS)
Great Britain’s women were beaten by New Zealand in their first FIH Pro League game after an emphatic display by the Black Sticks.
Britain had 60% possession but found it difficult to get a foothold in the game, while Olivia Merry scored a hat-trick for the Commonwealth Games champions in a ruthless performance.
There was a debut for Lizzie Neal, while Giselle Ansley got Britain’s goal with a penalty stroke. New coach Mark Hager was on the touchline for GB after spending the last three days with his new side.
Starting XI: Cochrane, Pearne-Webb (c), Ansley, Toman, Balsdon, Petty, Evans, Martin, Robertson, Rayer, Owsley
Subs used: Tennant, Defroand, Neal, Howard, Sanders, Jones, Hunter
|Great Britain and England international Sophie Bray has today announced her decision to step down from international hockey.|
Sophie was part of the Great Britain team that won an historic gold medal at the Rio Olympics, for which she also became an MBE.
In a very successful five-year international career she also won gold at the 2015 EuroHockey Championships in London and two Commonwealth Games medals.
In total the 28-year-old played 134 times for England and Great Britain, scoring an impressive 44 goals.
Sophie commented, “After a very tough couple of months it is with great sadness that I have taken the difficult decision to step down from international hockey.
“It has been a huge honour to represent Great Britain and England and I will be forever grateful for all the incredible memories in an international shirt. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has supported and believed in me and made the amazing journey so special.
“I still have a lot to give the sport I love and I am looking forward to what the future holds.”
Great Britain and England Hockey Performance Director Ed Barney said, “On behalf of the organisation, I would like to offer Sophie a huge thank you for her years of dedication and commitment to the sport. “Sophie has been an integral member of the programme and brought a huge amount to our attacking play. She was a key player in a very successful period for the women’s programme and her skills, quality and tenacity have been invaluable to the women’s team. “We respect Sophie’s decision and we will miss her as she steps away from the international programme.
We wish her all the very best in the future.”
The all new FIH Pro League has started in electrifying fashion, with goals and excitement aplenty. This was highlighted no better than when Great Britain’s men dramatically defeated Spain 6-5 in their first game, coming back from 4-1 down.
Great Britain’s women’s side will make their FIH Pro League bow at 4am GMT on Friday 8 February while the men’s team will be action straight after as the Black Sticks host their third double header of the tournament.
GB men looking to build on exciting opening victoryWith Olympic qualification being heavily based on success in the FIH Pro League, every game in this tournament really does matter. And that much was evident as GB’s men fought valiantly throughout their match against Spain to come back from 4-1 down to win 6-5.
Adam Dixon recorded a brace with Zach Wallace, Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper and David Condon also getting on the scoresheet. At the other end, George Pinner kept out three final minute corners to secure a sensational victory and fire Great Britain to the summit of the men’s FIH Pro League table at the time of writing.
Five new faces have come into Danny Kerry’s squad from that game for the Oceania tour – Will Calnan, Lee Morton, Josh Pavis, Ian Sloan and Ollie Willars – and will be looking to make an impact.
GB came out on top the last time the two sides met, recording a 3-2 victory in the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, with Sam Ward and Phil Roper getting on the scoresheet in that game.
New era set to begin for GB womenGoing into their FIH Pro League debut match, GB’s women will be hoping to follow the men’s lead but know it will be a tough order to beat New Zealand. However with newly appointed head coach Mark Hager – previously in charge of the Black Sticks – meeting up with the squad when the team land in the country, expect them to give their opponents a really close game.
The Great Britain squad named to face the Black Sticks contains only three players from the victorious Rio 2016 side, with a number of young players having the opportunity to shine on the international stage.
Hollie Pearne-Webb will lead the side and her experience will be vitally important not just for this game but for the whole tour, which sees GB then take on Australia (16 February) and China (23 February).
With a squad containing three new faces in Lizzie Neal, Holly Hunt and Holly Munro – who are all in line to make their senior international debuts – the New Zealand match will be an exciting test for this new wave of talent.
GB emphatically defeated New Zealand the last time they met with Giselle Ansley, Hollie Pearne-Webb and Lily Owsley all featuring in the 3-0 semi-final victory at Rio 2016.
Tough start to FIH Pro League for New ZealandRegarded as one of the powerhouses of world hockey, New Zealand will pose a tough test for the GB teams as the women won the Commonwealth title back in April, while the men claimed silver.
However both sides have not made the starts they wanted in the FIH Pro League, with the men only collecting one point and the women yet to get off the mark after two matches each.
Both sides fell to a one goal defeat in their opening matches against The Netherlands, although the men nearly pulled off a remarkable comeback having drawn level after being 3-0 down to their European opponents. However Thierry Brinkman’s late strike ensured victory for the Dutch, whose women’s team battled to a 1-0 win over the Black Sticks later in the day.
Their men’s team then faced a similar story in their second game against Belgium, once again coming from behind to draw 4-4 with Belgium and take the game to a shootout and secure their first point of the tournament. However it was the newly crowned men’s world champions who came out on top.
It was another narrow loss for their women too as a late Jill Boon strike saw them surprisingly lose to Belgium, meaning that combined the two teams have just one point between them from their opening matches.
You will be able to watch GB’s women and men take on New Zealand from 4am GMT on Friday 8 February live on BT Sport.
You can also read our FAQs on this exciting new tournament here.
When world governing body the FIH first sat down and discussed introducing the new global FIH Pro League, they could only have imagined the first fixtures would produce such excitement and drama.
In what was a great advert for the new competition, Great Britain came from 4-1 down to record a stunning victory after successfully defending three penalty corners in the final few seconds as both teams saw the importance of victory and left everything on the pitch in search of the win.
Just a few days earlier, Spain scored twice in the last minute before winning their opening match in a shootout, so the new global league has started superbly.
Every game matters in the FIH Pro League, and that much was evident as either side fought valiantly throughout the match. Adam Dixon recorded a brace with Zach Wallace, Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper and David Condon also getting on the scoresheet.
Head Coach Danny Kerry was left understandably very upbeat with the result. “I’m delighted for the lads, as well as the staff.
“We were rusty in the first half, but after that we played with both brains and skill. I’m sure it made for excellent viewing in our very first Pro League game. Now we go onwards!”
Spain got off to the perfect start, scoring within the opening two minutes after a dangerous cross from the right baseline was met by Xavi Lleonart.Great Britain responded quickly through Dixon with a clean strike sailing past Mario Garin in goal.
The hosts continued to press forward, coming close to scoring through a penalty corner only to be denied by a fine save from Harry Gibson.
Spain couldn’t be halted in a free-scoring first quarter as Marc Bolto put the hosts 2-1 up with less than ten minutes played.
There were to be two further goals from Spain as Diego Arana and Albert Beltran both got onto the scoresheet for the rampant Redsticks with little more than ten minutes on the clock.
Wallace did make the breakthrough for Great Britain for the final goal of the half as intricate play inside the inner circle was well finished by the Surbiton man.
That momentum continued into the second-half for Great Britain with Sam Ward and Chris Griffiths firing wide before Gleghorne successfully found the target from a penalty corner.
Another penalty corner swiftly followed, this time Dixon bagging his brace with a well improvised finish from close-range.
Within a minute of the final quarter commencing Great Britain were back in front thanks to a superb strike from Phil Roper from the edge of the circle, putting the score at 5-4.
As the clock ran down Great Britain looked to have put the game out of sight as Sam Ward’s shot was blocked by a man on the line, however it fell directly to David Condon who finished well on the volley.
With less than three minutes remaining Spain pulled one back through Alvaro Iglesias from a corner routine to ensure a frantic final few minutes.
It was to be a nervy finish as Great Britain had to defend three penalty corners within the final few seconds of the match with excellent defensive work seeing the game out.
Next up for Great Britain in the FIH Pro League is an away fixture against New Zealand, which will be played live on BT Sport at 4am on Friday 8 February.
Starting XI: Gibson, Ames, Forsyth, Ward, Gleghorne, Roper (c), Dixon, Creed, Condon, Sanford, Wallace
Subs: C Griffiths, Taylor, Waller, Smith, Gall, Weir, Pinner
|Great Britain’s men are set to begin their FIH Pro League campaign this Friday (25 January) when they take on Spain live on BT Sport at 10am GMT.|
The squads for both this game and their subsequent fixtures against New Zealand (8 February) and Australia (16 February) were announced last week, with Sam Ward set to return to international hockey and Josh Pavis in line to make his senior GB debut.
GB MEN’S SQUADSGB v SPAIN: H2H
FIH PRO LEAGUE GETS UNDERWAY WITH A BANGThe exciting and groundbreaking FIH Pro League got underway in dramatic style on Saturday as Spain hosted Belgium in a spectacular game.
Belgium – crowned men’s world champions in December – had led 2-0 with three minutes remaining but Ignacio Rodriguez and Enrique Gonzalez struck late, taking the game to a shootout which the hosts won 2-0.
With another 143 games still to be played before the ‘Grand Final’, if this opening match is anything to go by then the world of international hockey is set to be in for a fantastic year of action in 2019!
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|JAFFA SUPER 6S TO BE STREAMED ON THE BBCWe are delighted to announce that this year’s Jaffa Super 6s Finals is set to be streamed on the BBC.|
You can watch every minute of the semi-finals and finals this Sunday (27 January) on the BBC Sport website and app, as well as on the England Hockey Facebook page.
HELEN RICHARDSON-WALSH PREVIEWS THE JAFFA SUPER 6SCheck out our exclusive interview with Helen Richardson-Walsh as she previews this year’s Jaffa Super 6s Finals.
Having featured last year, Helen recalls what it’s like to play at the Copper Box Arena as well as giving her tips on which teams and players to look out for in 2019.
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|Head Coach Danny Kerry has named his Great Britain’s men’s squads for their first FIH Pro League fixtures, starting with an away trip to Spain on Friday 25 January before travelling to face New Zealand and Australia in February.|
A total of 23 athletes have been selected across two separate squads, the first of which will head to Valencia next week. The second then travel to Oceania, alongside the women’s team, for two double headers.
Nottingham University’s Josh Pavis is in line to win his first senior international cap against either Australia or New Zealand, while Scotland’s Lee Morton has also been included for those games after making his GB debut in June.
Will Calnan, Rhys Smith, Zach Wallace and Jack Waller are also set to feature as Kerry once again looks to blood these exciting young talents on the international stage.
They will be joined by plenty of experienced hands too. Sam Ward has recovered from the concussion that stopped him featuring for England at the World Cup and is named alongside Adam Dixon, the squad’s most capped player with 239 international appearances to date.
Liam Ansell and Harry Martin will miss the three initial FIH Pro League matches due to injury.
Speaking ahead of their opening game, Kerry said: “I’m really excited to get our FIH Pro League campaign underway and we will definitely be looking to make the most of this opportunity.
“I’m excited by the inclusion of Josh Pavis from the GB Elite Development Programme squad. He’s by no means made it but is someone that will keep the rest of the squad on their toes.
“Lee Morton has very fast hands, he’s very direct and has a competitive instinct. I’m excited to include him as well.
“Depth doesn’t happen magically, you have to take calculated decisions about whether to include people or not, that was very much in our minds from the World Cup with the inclusion of Zach Wallace, Rhys Smith and others. Now we have Lee and Josh who are part of growing that depth.
“You have to give young players opportunities to develop. You have to push established players and make them feel the competition.”
The FIH Pro League is a brand new competition designed to transform the international hockey scene, with the world’s best nations facing each other home and away. It will also serve as a crucial element in the bid to qualify for Tokyo 2020.
Each nation will play a total of 16 matches, while the sides that finish in the top four will subsequently contest a ‘Grand Final’ in late June.
|GB men’s squad to face SpainAmes, David – HolcombeCondon, David – East GrinsteadCreed, Brendan – SurbitonDixon, Adam – BeestonForsyth, Alan – SurbitonGall, James – SurbitonGibson, Harry – SurbitonGleghorne, Mark – BeestonGriffiths, Chris – East GrinsteadPinner, George – HolcombeRoper, Phil – WimbledonSanford, Liam – ReadingSmith, Rhys – East GrinsteadTaylor, Luke – SurbitonWallace, Zach – SurbitonWaller, Jack – WimbledonWard, Sam – Old GeorgiansWeir, Henry – Wimbledon|
GB men’s squad to face New Zealand & AustraliaAmes, David – HolcombeCalnan, Will – Hampstead & WestminsterCreed, Brendan – SurbitonDixon, Adam – BeestonForsyth, Alan – SurbitonGall, James – SurbitonGibson, Harry – SurbitonGriffiths, Chris – East GrinsteadMorton, Lee – ReadingPavis, Josh – Nottingham UnversityPinner, George – HolcombeRoper, Phil – WimbledonSanford, Liam – ReadingSloan, Ian – WimbledonTaylor, Luke – SurbitonWallace, Zach – SurbitonWaller, Jack – WimbledonWard, Sam – Old GeorgiansWeir, Henry – WimbledonWillars, Ollie – Beeston
|England Hockey is delighted to confirm the appointment of Mark Hager as the new Head Coach of the Great Britain and England women’s hockey teams.|
Mark comes to Bisham Abbey with a wealth of experience in international hockey, both as a coach and player. As coach of New Zealand’s international women’s team for almost a decade, he has taken them as high as fourth in the FIH world rankings, won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and finished fourth at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 – the team’s best ever finishes at Olympic Games. Other coaching achievements include winning the Hockey India League with Kalinga Lancers in 2017, assisting Australia’s men to an Olympic bronze in Beijing, and also assisting Australia’s women to Champions Trophy gold in 2003.
As a player, he was captain of the Australia team that won Olympic bronze in Atlanta in 1996, having won the World Cup with his nation ten years earlier in London. He is an inductee to the Hockey Australia Hall of Fame and won their national league three times, two of them as captain of Perth Thundersticks.
|GB and England Hockey Performance Director Ed Barney said, “We are delighted that Mark is joining us. He was the outstanding candidate, a world class coach who will bring leadership skills and specific on-pitch strengths which will aid the women’s programme in their quest for future medals. With his arrival we are certain we will see the evolution of an exciting and dynamic brand of hockey over the coming months and years.|
“This is a key appointment for us, which is why we have dedicated a large amount of time to the recruitment process. We have involved a number of people throughout the hockey world and were left with no doubt about Mark’s personal attributes, the quality of his work and that he was the ideal Head Coach for our programme.
|“2019 is an exciting year for Mark, our staff and athletes, with the new FIH Pro League, Olympic qualification and the EuroHockey Championships. We are certain Mark will hit the ground running, thrive amongst the squad and lead the programme to exciting and memorable places.|
”Last but not least, I would like to place on record our sincere thanks to David Ralph for leading the team over the past few months. David has played an exceptional role and will be a vital part of the coaching staff moving forward.”
|Mark commented, “I am very excited to be appointed Head Coach of the Great Britain and England women’s teams. To be given the responsibility to lead a squad that has been very successful on the world stage is something I do not take lightly. The role as Head Coach is a terrific opportunity and I can’t thank Great Britain and England Hockey enough for entrusting me to lead their programme moving forward. I look forward to the challenge of building on the foundations of the programme and I believe that my international coaching experiences with Australia and New Zealand over the past 18 years will help me lead the squad into this new exciting phase. There is a wealth of talent in the squad, which I have enjoyed coaching against over a number of years and I look forward to now being a part of a world class team of players and staff.”|
Mark is scheduled to meet up with the Great Britain women’s squad for the first time when they play their opening FIH Pro League games in February, away to New Zealand, Australia and then China.
The women’s FIH Pro League runs from February until June 2019, leading up to Olympic qualifiers in the autumn. In between, England take part in the EuroHockey Championships in Belgium, making 2019 a key year for the sport.
Barcelona ’92 bronze medalists Karen Brown and Mary Nevill have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to the sport by being named in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.
Brown – who made 355 combined international appearances, putting her second on the all-time list of female British players – has been awarded an MBE for her services to hockey.
Across a career spanning from 1984-1999, Brown played in three Olympic Games and five European championships – another British record – before becoming a vital member of the coaching set-up in 2005.
As assistant coach, Brown helped the women’s team to Olympic bronze in 2012 and European gold in 2015 as well as their famous victory at Rio 2016.
She also won two FIH Female Coach of the Year awards before stepping down from the role in 2017, although she still continues to do fantastic work in a coach development capacity with GB Hockey.
Speaking on Twitter, Brown said: “Thank you to the hockey family, [I[ feel honoured and quite chuffed!
“Thanks to my teammates, athletes, colleagues, friends and family that have supported me over the years.”
Mary Nevill – who was Brown’s captain when Great Britain’s women won their first ever Olympic medal in 1992 while both were part of the England side that won European gold the year before – has been awarded an OBE for services to sport and sports science.
Following her retirement she moved into academia, lecturing and researching at Loughborough University from 1989-2013 – specialising in the effects of maximal and high intensity exercise – as well as being Director of Hockey at the university for 15 years.
She was also the Director of the Institute of Youth Sport from 2001-2013 before taking on her current role as Head of Department of Sport Science at Nottingham Trent University.
Nevill has also coached the England U21s women’s squad while some of her other roles include being the Chair of the Sport and Performance Division and a Board Member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences, while she was also a member of the UK Sports Council from 1998-2000 amongst others.