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FIH Pro League preview: Spain v GB

Sam Ward
Great Britain begin their men’s FIH Pro League campaign on Friday with a trip to Valencia to face Spain.

The FIH Pro League is a brand new global hockey competition that will be bringing you regular action from the highest level with Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan and Spain competing in the men’s league.

GB’s hosts have started the new competition in good form, mounting a heroic late comeback to draw 2-2 with newly crowned world champions Belgium before beating them on a penalty shootout.

That result means they sit top of the table on two points (one for the draw and one for winning the shootout) with the Red Lions currently on one.
GB Head Coach Danny Kerry named his squad for his team’s opening clash last week, with several names to look out for on Friday. Perhaps most notably, fearsome forward Sam Ward has returned from injury in time to take on Spain and, with three goals from four previous matches against Friday’s opposition, his presence could be pivotal. 

Overall the squad contains a blend of experience and youth, with Adam Dixon (32 years-old, 239 international caps) and Rhys Smith (21 years-old, 7 international caps) both included, ensuring there’s quality at both ends of the spectrum.

There’s plenty of talent in Spain’s side too. Despite being just 22, Enrique Gonzalez already has over 75 caps for his country and got off to the perfect start in the FIH Pro League as he scored Spain’s second goal to take their match against Belgium to penalties. 

Pau Quemada is a name that many hockey fans will recognise, with the veteran having scored against them GB at London 2012, and his experience will also be a huge aid to Spain’s cause. 

Compatriot Sergi Enrique also boasts plenty of experience - with over 280 international caps to his name – and his influence continues to be pivotal for Spain as he registered a match high of 70 passes last time out against Belgium.
Friday’s match is due to kick-off at 10am GMT on Friday with the game to be broadcast live on BT Sport.

The full GB squad for the fixture can be found by clicking HERE.

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