• International

2021 GB Elite Development Programme Squads Announced

The Great Britain Elite Development Programme (EDP) squads for 2021 have been selected.

First formed for the 2017/18 season, the GB EDP is funded by UK Sport and designed to provide players who have the potential become Olympic medallists of the future the best possible opportunity to achieve their international hockey ambitions.

The GB EDP is made up of players from all of the Home Nations, while the England U21 programme is embedded within it.

Several players have already made the step up to the senior GB squads having featured in the GB EDP, with Ollie Payne and Fiona Crackles the latest to make the transition in 2020. The priority over the coming months will be to prepare players to move into the senior teams following the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics in the summer.

In spite of the pandemic, the programme has been fortunate in that it’s been able to run across the last 12 months thanks to the government’s Elite Dispensation Scheme, with players able to take part in camps together as well as making the most of online sessions.

With no junior international hockey having been played in over a year, it is also hoped that players will enjoy a full programme of international competition in 2021, depending on Covid. This includes the senior EuroHockey Championships in July and the Junior World Cups for England’s U21s later in the year. England teams will also be sent to the inaugural EuroHockey5s Championships this summer.

Heather Williams – GB Hockey’s Head of Elite Talent Development – said: “First of all, I would like to say congratulations to all the players selected to the 2021 squad. 

“We are very grateful that we’ve been able to continue to run a GB EDP programme under the government’s Elite Athlete Dispensation whilst so many have not been so fortunate in being able to continue to play hockey.

“The last 12 months have been a difficult and challenging time for many and I’m extremely proud of the way all the players and staff have adapted and made the most of the opportunities they have been given.  

“It’s been a long time since we played our last competitive international game at the Men’s Sultan of Johor Cup in October 2019 so we look forward to the return of international competition. 

“Finally, my thanks go to the many people who have supported the players and the programme over the last year – from clubs who have made their facilities available to us (under the Elite Dispensation Scheme), club, school and university coaches who have supported the programme remotely and, not least, to parents and guardians who have become chauffeurs again. Your support is hugely appreciated.”