Great Britain squad assess progress in three match series against Germany

Georgie Twigg playing for GB

Ahead of the Argentina World League Final, Great Britain Head Coach Jason Lee took a relatively inexperienced Great Britain squad out to Mannheim, Germany to play three capped matches.

The matches provided Lee an opportunity to see athletes from the wider training squad, including Nikki Kidd, Ali Bell and Morag McLellan from Scotland, and also offered several players a chance to face Germany before they meet them in England colours in the World League Final, which starts on 30 November.

The series saw international debuts for Sabbie Heesh (Loughborough Students), Suzy Petty (Beeston) and Shona McCallin (MOP NED) and first caps in a Great Britain shirt for a host of players including European Silver medallists Lily Owsley, Sarah Haycroft, Hollie Webb and Susie Townsend.

With regular captain Kate Richardson-Walsh back home, Susie Gilbert, Laura Unsworth and Ashleigh Ball were all given the opportunity to captain a match each.

Great Britain started strongly, winning their first game 3-1, however Germany fought back to reverse this score line in the remaining two games to take the series win. Further information about the three matches can be found below.

Speaking after the final match, Great Britain Head Coach Jason Lee said: “We started strongly with a win in the first game and then it was slightly disappointing to be on the losing end yesterday and today. We created a lot of chances today and it felt like a very typical game against Germany where they converted their chances and we just couldn’t score from ours. But I felt overall it was very even between the two sides which is pleasing.”

He added: “Our job coming over here was to continue to develop the wider GB squad and we have certainly done that. I’m really pleased for all the players who have made their international debuts out here and there have been some good performances from the less experienced members of the squad. Having said that, everyone is aware that there is still plenty of progress to be made as we continue to build this squad.”

Focus will shift significantly tomorrow for Lee as his squad switches to the 18 English athletes selected for the FIH World League Final: “Obviously my job now is to look ahead to Argentina at the end of the month. This was such a removed squad out here to that which will be playing in Argentina, I don’t feel like the three matches will contribute significantly to any preparations for the tournament ahead, however like I said, that was never the point of bringing this group of players out to Mannheim. Playing Germany in the third pool match in the World League Final will be very different to the three games we’ve just had here.

We will head back home this evening and get ready to fly out to Argentina next week to face the seven best sides in world hockey. It’s been about 12 degrees playing in The Dome out here and even colder back home. Currently it’s closer to 30 degrees in South America so we will need the full week we have out in Tucuman prior to the tournament to acclimatise.”

Nine members of this squad will be pulling on their England shirts on 30 November as they face Korea at 12:00 (UK time) in the first match at the Argentina World League Final. Click here to see the full squad and find out more about this tournament.

See below for the three match reports from the Germany series, in reverse order.

Match 3 - Wednesday 13 November

Eileen Hoffmann 4 (F)
Charlotte Stapenhorst 23 (F)      
Eva Frank 28  (PC)

Ellie Watton 29 (F)

The last game of this three-match series was decided by the end of the first half, as Germany continued their form with an identical winning score line to yesterday. Hoffmann opened the scoring early with a goal four minutes in, and while Great Britain initially held them off Stapenhorst was able to find an opening 19 minutes later to go up 2-0.

A penalty corner five minutes later sealed Germany’s score for the match, and though Ellie Watton (Beeston) was able to score her first goal for Great Britain in the 29th minute, with no more goals to follow it wasn’t enough to level the field before the break.

Great Britain competed strongly in the second half, opening up more scoring opportunities. While there were a couple of very good chances, they unfortunately couldn’t be converted, and the match ran out with Germany the winners at 3-1.

You can see all of the fixtures for this series and full squad information by visiting our International Results page.

Match 2 - Tuesday 12 November

Franzisca Hauke 28,31 (F,F)
Eva Frank 59 (F)

Susie Gilbert 68 (F)

The second game of the series saw a reverse in yesterday's scoreline as Germany came back strongly to beat Great Britain 3-1. Hauke was on target twice in the first half with two quick goals before half-time to give her side the lead going into the break.

Germany made it 3-0 in the 59th minute through Eva Frank which put the game beyond Great Britain. However, captain for the match, Susie Gilbert (Reading) put her stamp on the game scoring in the final two minutes from open play to mirror yesterday's score line.

Congratulations to Sabbie Heesh (Loughborough Students) who made her international debut in Great Britain's goal.

Great Britain's final match to decide who will take the series is at 12:30 (UK time) tomorrow.

You can see all of the fixtures for this series and full squad information by visiting our International Results page.

Match 1 - Monday 11 November

Hannah Kruger 52 PC

Susie Townsend 45 (F)
Steph Elliott 51 (F)
Georgie Twigg 70 (F)

GB women in Germany playing in The DomeThe first game saw international debuts for Shona McCallin (MOP, Netherlands) and Suzy Petty (Beeston). The game also marked a first Great Britain cap for a host of players, including European silver medallists Sarah Haycroft, Susie Townsend and Hollie Webb.

Great Britain put themselves in the driving seat of the mini-series with a strong 3-1 victory in the opening game which was played in The Dome in Mannheim (right).

All three goals came in the second half, two of which were scored by debutants Susie Townsend (Reading) and Steph Elliott (Holcombe). London 2012 Olympian Georgie Twigg (Surbiton) took her GB goal tally to three when she added to the score line in the final minute.

There were three players watching from the sidelines today; Laura Unsworth, Lily Owsley and Sabbie Heesh. Owsley (University of Birmingham) and Heesh (Loughborough Students) will be looking to make their GB and international debuts respectively later on this evening when GB play their second match at 1700 (UK time).

You can see all of the fixtures for this series and full squad information by visiting our International Results page.