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Sylvester set for World Championships action

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 January 2017

Abbie Sylvester in action for Great Britain's women (pic Dean Woolley)

Abbie Sylvester in action for Great Britain's women (pic Dean Woolley)

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Former Romford junior jets off with GB under-18s

Former Romford youngster Abbie Sylvester jets off to Poland with the Great Britain under-18 squad to compete in the World Championships today (Friday).

The 16-year-old played in a four-team tournament in Budapest in October, scoring twice against Spain and earning player of the match honours against Poland, then went on to represent the senior women at their Olympic qualifying event in Kazakhstan in November.

And she is hoping for success in Katowice, where the British girls play Italy, Denmark, Poland, China and Kazakhstan.

“We finished on a high in Budapest with a win over Spain and hope to carry that momentum through to our first game against Italy,” said Sylvester.

“The team has been working hard in training and in a number of games against conference teams in Bradford and Sheffield.

“We’re a stronger team than we were in Budapest, bringing in some players that currently play their hockey overseas, so it should be a really good tournament.

“The Olympic qualifiers was an amazing experience. Being called up to the senior side at just 16 was a surprise, but I had been working really hard in my training and games.

“We didn’t quite get the results we had aimed for, missing out by a goal in each game (against Poland and Kazakstan), but it shows how close we are as a nation.”

Sylvester joined Chelmsford after Romford’s Rom Valley Way ice rink closed and captains their under-18 team, who are currently in second place in their division, while also playing for the Chelmsford Warriors in the National League.

She added: “Playing at this level has helped my game enormously and given me the confidence at the senior women’s trials.

“There are not many girls that continue into under-18 teams or senior men’s teams due to the contact and speed but it’s what i’ve always been used to.

“They are the same players i have always played with or against, so I don’t think anything of it.”

Sylvester trains on ice four times a week, as well as two to three off-ice sessions in the gym or spin classes, and also plays for the Bracknell Queen Bees and Chelmsford Cobras, who currently sit at the top of the women’s Elite and Premier League tables respectively.

“I love playing women’s hockey as this gives me the chance to play forward as well as defence depending on what players are available which has helped me to be an all-rounder in the women’s league,” she said.

“I have one more year left at under-18s after this season and after these World Championships team selection will start taking place for the Women’s World Championships in Gangneung, Korea in April.”

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