Danson hails hockey skipper Walsh

03 August 2012 / 14:58

Great Britain hockey striker Alex Danson believes captain Kate Walsh's leadership skills provide inspiration for the rest of the squad even when the experienced defender is not playing.

Walsh sat on the bench for last night's 3-0 win over Belgium just four days after fracturing her jaw on the same pitch after being hit by a stick.

She left hospital on Wednesday after having a plate fitted to stabilise the break and the team were adamant they wanted her to be part of the squad even though she could play no part.

"Kate has an aura about her that leads us and brings us on," Danson told Press Association Sport.

"The question about her sitting on the bench was a no-brainer for us.

"She brings so much to our squad. Everyone can see what she does on the pitch but they don't see what she does off it.

"I have never been led by someone who, unanimously, everyone wanted to follow.

"It is testament to her how she has managed this horrendous situation, how she's come back, sat on the bench and how she is still leading us - and she has led us from afar.

"She has been brilliant and it is fantastic to have her back."

The team head into Saturday's Pool A match against China needing only a point to secure a semi-final spot with a game to spare.