Kerry hopes crowd lifts England Hockey at home World Cup

Kerry hopes crowd lifts England Hockey at home World Cup

04 July 2018 / 16:25

Head coach Danny Kerry wants home support to inspire England to a first Hockey Women World Cup title at the Olympic Park in London later this month.

Kerry has called on the services of eight of Team GB gold medal-winning heroes from Rio 2016 for the tournament though Shona McCallin and Nicola White are absent due to injury.

Alex Danson, who will be appearing at her fifth World Cup, will captain England as she aims to equal Marjorie Pollard's combined England and GB goal scoring record of 115 goals.

Meanwhile, forward Lily Owsley returns to the squad after missing the Commonwealth Games, where England earned a bronze medal, with a hand injury.

Gold medallists Giselle Ansley, Sophie Bray, Maddie Hinch, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Susannah Townsend and Laura Unsworth are also included in an 18-strong squad.

Kerry said: “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 hosting the World Cup for the first time since the tournament’s creation in 1974 but it’s a competition they have never won - third in 2010 remains their best finish.

The hosts begin their World Cup campaign at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Saturday July 21 against India, before taking on USA and Ireland in Group B.

Hockey World Cup Squadlist_graphic

The venue at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has been increased to 10,000 to cope with demand for tickets while a free spectator hub, Fan Central, will also be in operation.

"We’ve taken a large number of months to understand our squad going to a home World Cup,” added Kerrry.

“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.”

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
Ellie Watton

Sportsbeat 2018