Grassick: Why I never wanted to give up on this opportunity

Chris Grassick of Great Britain
Chris Grassick is exceptionally excited about getting back into a Great Britain shirt when the men's team take on the Netherlands on Friday night.

There is genuine excitement around the men's team with the Dutch in town this weekend, then New Zealand at the Stoop on 23 Jun, and with both Chris and Ashley Jackson returning to add to a vibrant young squad, there is much to be upbeat about.

Chris himself deserves great credit for battling back from injury, having not played for Great Britain since late 2017, and last lining up in international hockey for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.

He said, "I'm really excited about playing. Obviously I'm a little nervous for my first competitive game in a while, but I'll trust in all the work I've done, I'm ready, feeling sharp and it's very exciting.

"While I've been out it's been a challenge to stay positive but I understood it would all be worth it. I never, ever wanted to give up on this opportunity and I knew it was always worth fighting for."

As a first game back, the prospect of the Dutch in a key game at the end of the FIH Pro League is certainly one to savour. "Coming back into the Pro League there was never going to be an easy game. Every side poses a different challenge, and the Dutch at Lee Valley is a great way to return.

"There's no way Danny would put someone in if they're not ready, so we've got a big focus on the three points and making the Grand Final."

Grassick is joined in the squad by Ashley Jackson, who plays his first game since the Rio 2016 Olympics. Chris said, "I've trained with Ashley a lot, especially in the last cycle and everyone knows all about his ability. It's great to have him back in the GB team as well, it's another reason to be excited."

After this match, the team face New Zealand at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 23 June in another hugely exciting game. Chris said, "Obviously we're currently focused on the Dutch game, but we're all very competitive and next week we'll be using training to fight for our places at the Stoop. We want to finish as high as we can and we've got two games to affect that.

"I've been watching a lot of Pro League games, it's very close in the table, there's lots of permutations but they don't matter right now, we're looking at the job in hand and affecting that."

FIH Pro League at the Twickenham Stoop