• Inside the circle

George Pinner: "I'm Proud... But I'd Swap Any Personal Achievement For An Olympic Medal"

With nearly 500 international appearances between them, George Pinner and Adam Dixon are two of the most experienced players in world hockey right now.

They’ve shared plenty of memorable moments on the pitch together as well as off it, having both been guests at each other’s weddings over the last few years.

The longevity they’ve shown representing their country is certainly impressive, with Dixon recently playing his 100th game for Great Britain while Pinner closes in on his 200th combined cap.

But they don’t see these personal achievements as the be-all-and-end-all. They would much rather experience team success with some of their closest friends rather than just focusing on what they’ve done, as they discussed in the second #InsideTheCircle special as part of Hockey’s In-Haus Weekend.

I would swap any personal achievement for a medal at an Olympic Games

“It’s not about milestones for me,” explained goalkeeper Pinner.

“I’m just proud at how long I’ve been able to keep going being part of the programme. I got my first cap I 2007, which is quite a long time ago now, and to stay in an international programme for that length of time and win those number of caps shows a diligence to the stuff people don’t see. The psych work, the gym stuff, looking after yourself. 

“I’ve played with some very, very talented players who for one reason or another haven’t quite hit those milestones. I’m proud because it’s something to show for that commitment you’ve made but it’s not about those personal milestones. 

“I would swap any personal achievement for a medal at an Olympic Games or something like that. 

“It’s nice because it’s a recognition for your hard work but it’s not the reason I play for.”

England and GB captain Dixon agreed, adding: “It’s about giving my all every single game. If it happens to be a milestone and they coincide with each other then brilliant. 

“But if I only make 99 games for whatever reason it’s not something I’ll regret for the rest of my life. It’s just the icing on the cake. 

“It’s nice to recognise those moments when someone does reach those times in their career but it’s not the end.”

One personal achievement the duo have been able to celebrate recently however was Dixon’s wedding to his long-term partner, having been able to go ahead with the ceremony despite the current Coronavirus situation.

The defender said: “We thought Covid had changed plans for many of us and already had quite a big effect but my wife and I didn’t want to let that affect us, our relationship and what we had planned for the future. We thought we’d just crack on! 

“We had a small wedding with a few very unique guests and George was one of the lucky few who got an invite. George’s speeches were cut short by a torrential downpour outdoors – that was one of my highlights as he couldn’t put too much dirt on me!

“It was certainly an amazing time and I’m really looking forward to seeing how the next few months as a married man are going to go.”

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