The men’s and women’s hockey squads that will represent Team GB at the Tokyo Olympic Games have been announced.
The women’s squad will travel to Tokyo as reigning Olympic champions after defeating the Netherlands in an exhilarating final at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The 16-strong women’s squad contains nine players who will take part in their first Olympic Games this summer. Laura Unsworth is set for her third Olympic Games, while six more players prepare to represent Team GB for a second time, having each won an historic first women’s gold medal in Rio in 2016.
The men’s squad of 16 contains twelve Olympic debutants with captain Adam Dixon, David Ames, Ian Sloan and Sam Ward ready for their second Olympic appearance following their Rio 2016 campaign.
There is strong home nations representation across the squads, with Jacob Draper and Rupert Shipperley becoming the first Welsh male hockey players to represent Great Britain at an Olympic Games since 2000. Welsh duo Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson are part of the women’s team while Scotland’s Sarah Robertson is also named in the women’s 16.
At 20 and 21 years old respectively, Izzy Petter and Fiona Crackles are the youngest members of the women’s squad and with proven performances over the past few years, they will be looking to grasp the opportunity with both hands. 21-year-old Zach Wallace is the youngest of the men’s squad, closely followed by Wales’ Jacob Draper and English goalkeeper Ollie Payne, who are each 22.
With 276 Great Britain and England caps to her name, Laura Unsworth is the most experienced women’s player by some distance, while men’s captain Adam Dixon has a total of 284 combined caps for Great Britain and England.
Commenting on selection, Team GB Chef de Mission for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Mark England, said: “It is a huge honour to be able to announce the selection of the men’s and women’s hockey teams for the Tokyo Olympic Games and I’d like to congratulate everyone on this outstanding achievement. To be able to welcome back seven reigning Olympic champions alongside an exciting mix of experienced Olympians and debutants gives me great pride.
“At Rio 2016, hockey united a nation and created memories that will last a lifetime for both fans and players alike. These are two very talented squads and there is no doubt that they have what it takes to go out to Tokyo and make Great Britain proud this summer.”
Women’s Head Coach, Mark Hager, said: “For many of our Great Britain squad this has been a five-year journey in the making. Narrowing our squad down from 26 has been extremely difficult and highlighted the depth and talent we have. I have been humbled by how our entire Great Britain squad has supported each other through the selection process. There is a lot of potential in this team and I am very excited to see what this group of not only talented athletes, but exceptional people can bring in Tokyo. We have a good balance of experience within the group to draw upon as we continue to challenge each other, and I am looking forward to seeing this group of athletes perform on the world stage."
Men’s Head Coach, Danny Kerry, commented: “This squad to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympic Games has skill, grit, pace and intelligence in balance. Those selected will represent the wider squad and their team-mates concomitant with the energy with which they have all prepared. All of the squad are proud of how they have gone about their preparations amidst the pandemic. We understand the scale of the challenges ahead in Tokyo and will remain focussed on a ‘game at a time’ approach. The men have invested in themselves to grow the many qualities needed to navigate Olympic tournament hockey. We now look forward to using these qualities in the Games.”
Great Britain Hockey Performance Director and Hockey Team Leader for Tokyo, Ed Barney, added: “The hard yards that have been committed day in, day out by players (selected and non-selected) and staff alike, stand the teams in such good stead for the weeks ahead. Whilst we have a total of forty players travelling to Tokyo, it has been the quality, breadth and depth and perseverance of all players throughout the cycle (past and present) that forms the back bone and identity of both teams. We know how privileged we are to be able to travel and compete in what will be an amazing Olympics and I know that both teams are ready to do themselves, hockey and Team GB proud.”
Women’s squad Giselle Ansley Grace Balsdon Fiona Crackles Maddie Hinch (GK) Sarah Jones Hannah Martin Shona McCallin Lily Owsley Hollie Pearne-Webb (C) Izzy Petter Ellie Rayer Sarah Robertson Anna Toman Susannah Townsend Laura Unsworth Leah Wilkinson
Reserves Amy Costello Sarah Evans
Men’s squad David Ames Liam Ansell Brendan Creed Adam Dixon (C) Jacob Draper James Gall Chris Griffiths Ollie Payne (GK) Phil Roper Liam Sanford Rupert Shipperley Ian Sloan Tom Sorsby Zach Wallace Jack Waller Sam Ward
Reserves Alan Forsyth Harry Martin
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