Our journey has begun

Lily Owsley the FIH Rising Star celebrates scoring for Great Britain.

2016 is undoubtedly a huge year for every single one of the players in the Great Britain Central Programme. With only 16 places plus the two reserves available for the Rio Olympics competition is fierce for those coveted spaces on the plane to Rio.

The upcoming tournaments, test matches and training sessions all play their part in Danny Kerry’s final decision on who he will take to try and capture the most sought after medals in hockey. 2016 for many of these players is the most important year in their hockey careers.

Right about now, Great Britain’s squad are somewhere in the air on their way to take on Australia in a six-test series down under as they take another step on their journey towards the Olympic Games.

Kerry has taken 22 athletes with him to take on the Australians in their own back yard. Backed all the way by the team’s principal sponsor, Investec, this tour is part of Great Britain’s quest to cover all bases, leave no stone unturned and focus on every detail as they count down to the big kick off in Brazil. As this exclusive video from Investec shows, Danny Kerry’s side will leave it all out there on the pitch in their obsessive pursuit of the grand prize.

Their most immediate challenge is that of the Hockeyroos. Great Britain’s opponents in this series were runners up in the 2014 World Cup, are the current World No3 and the side with some of the biggest names in women’s hockey. There is no doubt Adam Commens’ team will pose a stiff test for Kate Richardson-Walsh and her team, but they will take on the opposition head on as they build towards the Olympics.

The six matches which will be streamed live online have an added element of spice in the wake of this week’s FIH announcement that the Hockeyroos will make their way over to London in the summer to compete in the star studded Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy. Joining the likes of Netherlands, Argentina, USA, New Zealand and of course the hosts, Great Britain, the Hockeyroos will be desperate to go one better than the last edition of the tournament where they had to settle for silver after losing out to Las Leonas in the final.

With all the top teams starting their own journey, their own race to Rio, Australia and Great Britain could use this series to lay down a marker for their rivals.

Our girls have started their journey and you can join them, every step of the way.

Tweet your messages of support to the squad, via @_GBHockey or @Investec_Sport.

England and Great Britain Women's Hockey are proud to be sponsored by Investec. For more information on Investec visit their website.