Hockey: England squads named for EuroHockey Championships
PUBLISHED: 11:47 08 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:47 08 August 2019
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England have named their men's and women's squads for this month's EuroHockey Championships in Belgium.
Hampstead & Westminster duo Will Calnan and Harry Martin are in the men's squad, while club newcomers Grace Balsdon and Lily Owsley are named in the women's squad alongside Havering's Emily Defroand, who plays for Surbiton.
For the men, five players will play in their first ever European Championships, with Zach Wallace the youngest member of the squad at only 19.
Vastly experienced Adam Dixon captains England for the first time in a major tournament, and Ashley Jackson plays a competition of this nature for the first time since the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The women welcome back Shona McCallin for her first major international event since 2017, and it is Mark Hager's first full run at a major tournament, having joined as head coach right at the start of Great Britain's FIH Pro League campaign earlier in the year.
Having just turned 19, Izzy Petter is the youngest member of the women's squad.
The EuroHockey Championships serves as a qualifier for Tokyo 2020 and if either of the England teams win the tournament, their Great Britain counterparts will qualify for next year's Olympics.
If not, GB will play in a two-legged winner-take-all qualifier at home in November of this year.
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A good performance in these Euros will have an impact on world ranking points, which would in turn play a part in which opposition GB would face in the Olympic qualifiers.
Men's head coach Danny Kerry said: "Following a good preparatory trip in Barcelona we've selected a squad that we feel is the best blend for our play and the demands of the tournament.
"The Euros represent a very high standard tournament and we look forward to the challenges that it will present. We're not in the business of making predictions but in the business of preparing and performing, so we're excited to get going."
Women's head coach Hager added: "We're excited about the tournament and looking forward to the challenge. It's my first opportunity with the group for a tournament like this.
"We looked to select an experienced group and we've got also Suzy Petty and Ellie Rayer back after they missed the (GB) trip to Japan. That trip gave us the opportunity to play a number of games in a short space of time which is good preparation for the Euros.
"We want to do well in the tournament, of course Olympic qualification is also on the mind of every team and there are lots of very capable sides who will feel the same."
Men's squad: David Ames (Holcombe), Will Calnan (Hampstead & Westminster), Brendan Creed (Surbiton), Adam Dixon (C) (Beeston), James Gall (Surbiton), Harry Gibson (GK) (Surbiton), Chris Griffiths (East Grinstead), Ashley Jackson (Old Georgians), Harry Martin (Hampstead & Westminster), George Pinner (GK) (Old Georgians), Phil Roper (Wimbledon), Ian Sloan (Wimbledon), Tom Sorsby (Surbiton), Zach Wallace (Surbiton), Jack Waller (Wimbledon), Sam Ward (Old Georgians), Henry Weir (Wimbledon), Ollie Willars (Beeston).
Women's squad: Giselle Ansley (Surbiton), Grace Balsdon (Hampstead & Westminster), Emily Defroand (Surbiton), Sarah Evans (Surbiton), Maddie Hinch (GK) (SCHC), Tess Howard (Durham University), Jo Hunter (Surbiton), Shona McCallin (Holcombe), Hannah Martin (Surbiton), Lily Owsley (Hampstead & Westminster), Hollie Pearne-Webb (C) (Surbiton), Izzy Petter (Surbiton), Suzy Petty (Wimbledon), Ellie Rayer (Surbiton), Amy Tennant (Reading), Anna Toman (Wimbledon), Susannah Townsend (Canterbury), Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead).
Men's fixtures: England v Wales (Aug 17, 10:15am): England v Belgium (Aug 18, 5pm); England v Spain (Aug 20, 12:30pm); semi-finals (Aug 22); final (Aug 24).
Women's fixtures: England v Ireland (Aug 18, 10:15am); England v Germany (Aug 19, 12:30pm); England v Belarus (Aug 21, 9am); semi-finals (Aug 23); final (Aug 25).