England Women head coach Danny Kerry admits next month’s Champions Trophy in Argentina will be a chance for some his less experienced players to show that they can do on the big stage.
Kerry has named an 18-strong team for the tournament in Mendoza from November 29 to December 7 – although it is much changed from the squad which claimed silver at this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
England and Great Britain captain Kate Richardson-Walsh has opted to take time away from the centralised programme since Glasgow, hence ruling her out of consideration while Nicola While and Lucy Wood also don’t make selection.
Squad members Helen Richardson-Walsh and Ashleigh Ball both continue their recovery from long term injuries and also miss out, but Shona McCallin and Joie Leigh earn their first tournament call-up.
England, ranked eighth in the world, face a difficult opening test against world number two side and Commonwealth champions Australia before taking on Germany and Argentina in Pool B.
And after winning silver in the last Champions Trophy, also held back in Argentina in 2012, Kerry is looking to see consistency from his players.
“As a group we will look to generate a number of outcomes from the tournament not just in trying to be extremely competitive but also in gathering some much needed information ahead of the Olympic qualifiers,” he said.
“Netherlands are hot favourites, with Australia and Argentina likely medal contenders, too. The beauty of the Champions Trophy is that all the teams competing are capable of beating each other on their day. That means consistency of performance becomes crucial for us.
“The group we have chosen reflects those who have pushed their case hard during the training block since September. As a result we’ve given some opportunities to a number of players who are relatively inexperienced at this level.
“The block of training since September has been really focused and has produced excellent commitment from each one of the athletes. We have pushed the group exceptionally hard during this time and they have responded well to that environment.”
© Sportsbeat 2014