In just 11 days our Senior Women take to the National Hockey Centre, Glasgow to compete in the EuroHockey Championships II. After finishing 4th place in the last European competition which was hosted in Cardiff in 2017, the squad will be pushing for a top two finish, seeking promotion into the top Division.
Wales are placed in Pool A with Turkey, Poland and Italy and will take to the field to play Italy in the opening match of the competition on Sunday 4th August at 10:15am.
Ahead of the Europeans, we spoke to Head Coach Kevin Johnson:
This was a difficult selection to make which shows the progress our programmes have made in recent times and the depth of player group we are now able to select a senior squad from. After some encouraging performances in the FIH series finals in Valencia, as well as our U21’s securing a bronze medal and promotion to European ‘A’ division in their recent tournament in Turkey, the number of players seriously challenging for this selection has been somewhat unprecedented.
From the U21 group, 3 players have gained selection for the senior Euros, with Izzie Howell and Izzy Webb retaining their places from the FIH series finals and there will be a new senior addition in goalkeeper Lauren Roberts. Lauren was awarded GK of the tournament in Turkey after a set of fine performances and deserves her opportunity at senior level and is set to receive her first senior cap if she plays in Glasgow.
It will also be good to see Sarah Jones come back into the squad for the Euros and she will be looking to add the quality she has shown this year in her GB performances. Special mentions also go to Eloise Laity and Hannah Cozens who will be earning their 50th caps in Glasgow.
We are looking forward to the matches ahead and we are in a pool where we know plenty about each of our oppositions and will be focused on doing everything we can to achieve a top 2 finishing position to make it into the semi-finals and then try and improve on our finishing position from the last Euros in 2017.
Congratulations to those that have been selected:
Lauren Roberts (GK)
Leah Wilkinson (c)
Rose Thomas (GK)
Sian French (vc)
Ella Jackson (GK)