Great Britain has named the 41 men and women chosen to represent their nation in the teams’ first games of the new FIH Pro League 2022/23 season, including seven potential debutants.
Britain’s squads fly to Argentina for a mini tournament of games against hockey powerhouses Argentina and the Netherlands in Santiago del Estero as part of a new structure for the FIH Pro League this season.
Holly Hunt was originally selected in the women’s squad but has unfortunately withdrawn through injury and a replacement will be named in due course.
The seven players aiming to make their Great Britain debuts include two very experienced Scottish women, with Fiona Burnet and Jen Eadie each having close to 80 caps for Scotland. England’s Flora Peel aims for her first Great Britain cap after helping her country to Commonwealth Games gold this summer.
For the men, Nick Bandurak, Nick Park, James Mazarelo and Stuart Rushmere are hoping to line up for Britain for the first time. Bandurak has already made a superb start to his England career with 21 goals in 20 games and top scorer honours at this summer’s Commonwealth Games. Mazarelo and Rushmere won bronze alongside him in Birmingham, while Park would have played but for an unfortunate injury on the eve of the tournament.
Women’s captain Hollie Pearne-Webb is four caps away from the hugely significant milestone of 100 caps for Great Britain and would become only the twelfth woman in British hockey history to reach that marker. Teammates Giselle Ansley and Lily Owsley have 197 and 196 international appearances respectively, while Grace Balsdon is likely to reach 50Great Britain appearances.
The men’s squad’s most-capped current player Harry Martin is welcomed back for what will be his first international games since lining up for England at last summer’s EuroHockey Championships, while David Ames is also back from injury.
All games in Santiago del Estero
Tue 13 Dec Great Britain v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Thu 15 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (W), 10pm UK time
Fri 16 Dec, Great Britain v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Sun 18 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (W), 10pm UK time
Wed 14 Dec, Great Britain v Netherlands (M), 00:30am UK time
Fri 16 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (M), 00:30am UK time
Sat 17 Dec, Great Britain v Netherlands (M), 00:30am UK time
Mon 19 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (M), 00:30am UK time
Argentina v Netherlands
Wed 14 Dec, Argentina v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Thu 15 Dec, Argentina v Netherlands (M), 00:30am UK time
Sat 17 Dec, Argentina v Netherlands (W), 10pm UK time
Sun 18 Dec, Great Britain v Argentina (M), 00:30am UK time
View from the coaches
Women’s Head Coach David Ralph said: “Representing Great Britain is the pinnacle of the sport and congratulations to everyone selected. For those in line to win their first cap this is a hugely significant moment and well done to them for getting to this level.”
David got to see his squad in action in a three-game test series in Spain earlier this month and is now looking forward to competitive action. “Taking on the number one and two teams in the world is a fantastic challenge for our group and these are our first competitive matches as GB in this cycle. It’s a new venue for us in Santiago del Estero and we can’t wait to get going.”
Men’s Head Coach Paul Revington said: “It’s a really exciting challenge, Argentina is one of the hardest nations to travel to and win hockey matches, not least because of the passion that comes from the stands and onto the pitch. A few of our guys haven’t been to Argentina before and they can’t wait to play them in their own backyard. We’re also looking forward to playing the Netherlands while we are over there, our last games against them were a war of attrition and we’re looking forward to renewing that rivalry.”
How to watch
All Great Britain games will be live on BT Sport. Games between Argentina and Netherlands will either be on BT Sport or free on watch.hockey depending on TV schedules. You can also follow GB Hockey and FIH social channels for key details and insights, both on matchday but also across the trip.
Great Britain’s next fixtures after this mini-tournament are in April 2023 when they take on Australia and New Zealand in Christchurch.
Then in May and June London plays host to two mini tournaments. From 26 May to 4 June, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre plays host to Belgium and China’s women, plus India’s men and Belgium’s Olympic and World Champion men. Then from 16 to 21 June, Germany’s men and women come to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, along with USA women and Spain men as Britain take on the best in the world and begin their journey towards Paris 2024.
How can supporters buy tickets for home games?
Tickets will be on sale this week to those in our hockey family – if supporters have bought GB / ENG tickets before or are on our database. They’ll get first access to the best seats at the cheapest possible price, with children from just £5 for two games and adults only £15. Look out for more news soon or sign up to the Ticketing newsletter here.
What’s new this season?
The tournament format is now split into mini-tournaments across the world, making for some great hockey around the globe. This season is the first to see the bottom team be relegated and replaced by a team from the FIH Nations Cup, which includes the likes of Ireland as well as India’s women and Pakistan’s men. In future seasons the Pro League will also be used for Olympic and World Cup qualification spots.