Olympic gold medallist Alex Danson has revealed her shock and gratitude at being named as Great Britain and England’s women’s hockey captain.
Danson will lead England at the Commonwealth Games in April and the Hockey World Cup in London next year, having been temporary skipper this summer.
Hollie Pearne-Webb and Laura Unsworth have been appointed as vice-captains for both GB and England.
Danson, 32, has been part of the international set-up for 16 years but was still surprised and overwhelmed when the news broke that her team-mates had voted her in.
“I found out on the field, 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,” she 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 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."
Danson, who won a gold medal at Rio 2016 to go with her bronze from London 2012, doesn’t have long to settle into her new role as she will lead England at the World League Finals in New Zealand, starting on November 17.
The whole squad bought into the process of appointing Danson, according to head coach Danny Kerry, and he’s confident that the forward is the perfect person for the role.
“The athlete squad have considered the qualities and skills needed, and the model of leadership that will serve us well over the next period,” he said.
“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."