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England women name their squad ahead of London World Cup

PUBLISHED: 15:30 04 July 2018

England Hockey captain Alex Danson (Pic: England Hockey)

England Hockey captain Alex Danson (Pic: England Hockey)

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England have named their 18-strong squad that will compete at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup on home soil in London between July, 21 and August, 5.

The squad contains eight Olympic Gold medallists from Great Britain’s victorious Rio 2016 campaign, two of whom also competed in the games at London 2012.

As well as harbouring a wealth of experience the squad also boasts a number of promising young players who have gained experience at recent major tournaments including the Commonwealth Games and Hockey World League Finals. Olympians Shona McCallin and Nicola White are not selected after a period on the sidelines through injury.

Another who has missed out is former Havering Hockey Club and Coopers School pupil Emily Defroand who has been out injured in recent weeks.

Head coach Danny Kerry said: “We’ve taken a large number of months to understand our squad going to a home World Cup.

“We’ve had a number of injuries and had to understand how these would develop and if players would be fit and available in time which made things more complex.

“I think we have world class players in key positions with a lot of pace to our attack and equally a good solidity to our defence with lots of options to get the ball out from the back.

“It will be a very tight tournament and I am really optimistic that the squad can perform and can use the support of a home crowd in those times and think clearly under pressure.

“We’ve had lots of good preparation in terms of match play and our tactical understanding so it’s just a case of the last few finishing touches now but we could start tomorrow if we needed to.”

England are in Pool B and begin their Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup campaign against India at 2pm on Saturday 21 July before facing the USA on Wednesday 25 July and Ireland on Sunday 29 July.

Over 100,000 tickets have been sold for the event with fans travelling from across the globe.

The capacity of Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has had to be trebled to 10,000 to cope with demand for tickets while a free spectator hub, Fan Central, will be in operation covering the size of three hockey pitches.

England Squad: Giselle Ansley, Grace Balsdon, Sophie Bray, Alex Danson (C), Sarah Haycroft, Maddie Hinch, Jo Hunter, Kathryn Lane, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Suzy Petty, Ellie Rayer, Amy Tennant, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth and Ellie Watton.

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