The lengths GB went to to win Olympic gold

Olympic gold medal for our women's team in Rio

England and Great Britain's Alex Danson has offered an intriguing insight into the work that went into winning Olympic gold in that decisive shootout against The Netherlands.

Alex revealed that the squad worked on every detail, including making sure they stood together as a group, regardless of whether a goal is scored or not.

Speaking to englandhockey.co.uk, Alex said, "I feel very proud around the shuffles, how we took them, and how the whole team acted when that whistle went.

"If you look back to our Commonwealths in 2014, we weren't visibly connected, so we undertook a a body of work to ensure we had that tiny edge about how we looked. We did a lot of work with Andrea our sports psychologist around how we look and how we present ourselves.

"We knew what we were going to do, we knew how we were going to behave whether it went in or not, whether Maddie saved one or not, our behaviour didn't change. As an British team, we took a real understanding into the match of what we need to do and how we need to be.

"If you watch the Olympic final and had one camera on GB and one on the opposition, the Dutch were very emotionally invested in what was going on. Their hands were in their faces, they weren't connected as a group, whereas if you look at us, we had our arms around one another, we knew exactly how to behave at every stage.

"When I walk up, I have already accepted that I will score, or I won't. That's fact, nothing else can happen. So my job is to do the best with the skill I've decided to use. In Rio, it was saved, and when you return, you still have a job to do on that walk back, because others still have to take theirs. So your routine is the same, you come back, high five, accept the outcome. We knew as five takers, how to communicate with each player.

"Our vision was to be one team, and how you present yourself externally has a huge impact on how you feel.

"Honestly, I completely forgot it was an Olympic final. because of the preparation. And I honestly believe that, because of the work you've done before. So the night before, you're thinking about playing in an Olympic final, of course you're nervous but you acknowledge it knowing how you'll feel.

"It's about margins, and the biggest word is preparation. In the Euros and Olympics, everybody did their job. We love Maddie's water bottle and the preparation, we all make sure every detail is covered."

England's women's team face The Netherlands on 11 June in a sold-out match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

In the summer of 2018, they do battle in the Women's World Cup in London, and priority tickets are available to our hockey family from 6 April, more details here.