Scottish quartet named in Great Britain women's squad
22 December 2011
The Great Britain women's hockey squads have been announced for the forthcoming FIH Champions Trophy in Rosario, Argentina, and a four nations preparation tournament in Cordoba.
Scotland's Laura Bartlett, Emily Maguire, Abi Walker and Vikki Bunce are named in the 22 player squad. All four will travel to Cordoba, with Bartlett, Maguire and Walker travelling to Argentina for the Champions Trophy.
The announcement of the two squads comes off the back a successful 5-0 series victory over fellow Olympic qualifiers the USA in San Diego last week.
Departing for Cordoba on Saturday 14 January, Great Britain's women will take on the hosts Argentina, Commonwealth silver medallists New Zealand and Korea in a four nation tournament from 18-22 January. Following the conclusion of that, the squad will travel to Rosario ahead of the Champions Trophy, which runs from 28 January - 5 February.
Speaking about the four nation tournament in Cordoba, Head Coach Danny Kerry explained how he intends to use the tournament to improve his squad: "I am looking forward to us playing some good quality opposition and continuing to develop depth in our squad across the tournament. We will face a good combination of teams playing with a contrast of styles and this all helps in further building experience across the squad."
Four athletes not selected to play in Cordoba will be part of the squad for the Champions Trophy in Rosario. The Leicester pairing of Hannah Macleod and Chloe Rogers, Bowdon Hightown's Sally Walton and Clifton's Georgie Twigg will make up four of the 18 athletes selected for the Champions Trophy, which is the last world ranking event before the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Outlining his expectations of the Champions Trophy, Kerry said: "We'll use the Champions Trophy to thoroughly scout teams in preparation for London 2012 and to continue to explore and develop our own combinations. All of the teams will be in varying states of preparation for 2012 and it will be interesting to see where they are and the effect it has on the tournament."
Great Britain qualified for the 2012 Champions Trophy after England finished fifth in the 2011 edition, beating Australia to fifth place in the Netherlands in July. For the Rosario tournament, Great Britain has been drawn in Pool A alongside the new world number one, the Netherlands, Olympic silver medallists China and Japan, ranked ninth. Great Britain's first assignment is against Japan, before playing the Netherlands then China.
The 2012 Champions Trophy sees a deviation from the usual format with a quarter final stage following the pool phase round robin. After playing everyone in the pool once, Great Britain will face one of the teams from Pool B in the quarter final.
The winners of each pool will face the side finishing bottom of the other pool and sides finishing second will play those in third in the other pool. The winners of these matches will progress to the semi finals while the losers will contest fifth to eighth places.
Commenting on the revised format, Kerry added: "The one-off match nature of the quarter final format will be interesting to see in action and makes predictions for the tournament difficult. The current match schedule has Pool A games occurring in the hottest part of the day of the Argentinean summer and I look forward to seeing how we cope physically with that challenge."
Prior to departing for Argentina, all 22 athletes will take part in a training camp near Barcelona from 4-8 January. Great Britain will play three matches in Spain, the details of which are still to be confirmed.
Following the Champions Trophy, Great Britain's women will have two major events in the UK to look forward to. The first, the Olympic Test Event, takes place at the Olympic Park from 2-6 May 2012 and will feature Great Britain in action against other top sides yet to be announced.
For full information on the GB squads, please visit the Great Britain website.