England Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh will be competing in her fourth Commonwealth Games when she steps out onto the turf in Glasgow. With 321 international caps to her name the Manchester born athlete is England’s most experienced squad member and has captained her side for over a decade. She has already announced that this is likely to be her final tournament before retiring.
After finishing 11th at the recent Hockey World Cup, the team sees a couple of changes to the line-up. Giselle Ansley comes back into the squad and Holcombe’s Lucy Wood is selected fresh off the back of a number of impressive appearances for the England Development Squad and in recent test matches against Wales where she scored four times.
Ten of the 16 selected athletes will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts. Alongside the experience of Richardson-Walsh, Alex Danson will be competing in her third Games while Georgie Twigg, Susie Gilbert, Nicola White and Laura Unsworth were all part of the squad who claimed bronze in Delhi four years ago.
England Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh said: “It is always a pleasure and an honour to represent your country at a Commonwealth Games. Being at a large multi-sport event is an excellent experience for the team. It's great to be able to support your fellow athletes and enjoy celebrating Team England's success. I've no doubt that Glasgow will put on a fabulous event.”
Commonwealth Games debutant Giselle Ansley said: “It’s a real honour to have been selected for the Commonwealth Games. For me, missing out on playing at the World Cup was devastating but we are a strong group and I know we can put in some strong performances up in Glasgow.”
“We still have four weeks of training to go in preparation, as well as the Investec London Cup, which is going to be a great experience for us as we build towards Games time.”
Competing in her second Commonwealth Games Georgie Twigg said: “I’m really excited to be a part of Team England again. Delhi was a fantastic experience four years ago and it was great to get a bronze medal at one of my first major tournaments. Playing in a multi-sport event is such a unique experience and I can’t wait to be a part of it again. We were obviously disappointed with the result at the World Cup, but it’s great to have another major tournament in the same summer to go out there as a team and improve on our performances.”
Team England Chef de Mission Jan Paterson said: “I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to both the men's and women's hockey squads. 19 of the 32 players will be making their Commonwealth Games debuts, with the remainder providing a huge amount of international experience, including our two captains who have five Commonwealth Games between them. They will compete in London prior to their arrival in Glasgow which will aide their final preparations as they head into Glasgow."
Hockey Team Leader Danny Kerry said: “I’m excited about the two teams we are bringing to Glasgow 2014; the Commonwealth Games represent one of the highlights of an athletes’ career and I know and understand the importance that all involved place on performing to their best at such a prestigious event.”
Courtois Straight Through to the Semis
– Pauline Courtois leads after first day