Hockey: Defroand enjoys latest GB experience in FIH Pro League

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 April 2019

Emily Defroand (far left) and GB teammates line up before their FIH Pro League match against the USA (pic Patrick McDermott/Getty Images for FIH)

Emily Defroand (far left) and GB teammates line up before their FIH Pro League match against the USA (pic Patrick McDermott/Getty Images for FIH)

2019 Getty Images

Havering’s Emily Defroand returned home from Great Britain international duty this week after a trip of mixed emotions.

Former Coopers pupil Defroand netted her first international goal in a 3-1 FIH Pro League win over the United States, but could not help GB avoid a 4-2 defeat in Argentina.

But the 24-year-old was keen to look at the positives from her latest experience, saying: “We were disappointed with the result from the Argentina game. We felt extremely prepared and confident going into the game and although we dominated in large periods, I felt the Argentinians proved too clinical on the night.

“However the beauty of the Pro League with games being so frequent means that we can analyse the game, ‘tighten the screw’ in a few areas and make amends in our next games in the coming weeks.

“The trip as a whole was a really enjoyable experience. It was my first time playing hockey in America and I will always hold such fond memories from that half of the trip with scoring my first international goal and securing our first three points of the campaign in Pennsylvania.”

The two-week tour was memorable for another reason as well, as Defroand took on a new role for the team and admitted she enjoyed testing herself in that way.

“I played up front on this trip and it was a challenge I really enjoyed,” she added.

“I have always been happy to play anywhere on the pitch and since joining the centralised programme I have played in every line on the field!

“I see changing positions as a positive as it demonstrates versatility, whilst also learning what is required in different positions on the pitch.

“With our new head coach Mark Hager on board, a prolific goalscorer in his playing days, I hope to learn a lot from him if he sees this as my position moving forwards.”

Defroand was subsequently named in an 18-strong squad for the next fixture away against Germany on April 24, before GB embark on a busy summer of home fixtures at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

And she is looking forward to the homecoming, having played in Australia, New Zealand China earlier in the year.

“Now that we have played our longer-haul away matches we are all really excited to play slightly closer to home in the European legs as well as our home games,” she said.

“The home crowd will certainly give us all an extra buzz, especially on days when the men are playing too and no doubt they will be a fantastic advertisement for our sport and GB Hockey.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Romford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Romford Recorder