FIH Pro League: Defroand hoping to help GB to home success

PUBLISHED: 11:15 17 May 2019

Great Britain's Emily Defroand in action during the FIH Pro Leagu at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre (pic Zac Goodwin/PA)

Great Britain's Emily Defroand in action during the FIH Pro Leagu at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre (pic Zac Goodwin/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Havering’s Emily Defroand will look to help Great Britain’s women boost their FIH Pro League campaign in an international double-header in east London this weekend, writes Lee Power.

Former Coopers pupil Defroand has kept her place in Mark Hager's squad for matches against Argentina on Saturday and Belgium on Sunday, with both starting at 1pm at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

And the 24-year-old will hope to play a part in a first home win in the competition, having drawn with the USA and fallen to a 2-1 loss against China two weeks ago, which leaves them in seventh place in the nine-team division.

Defroand now has 42 international caps to her name - having also netted her first goal in the US in March - and is joined in the squad by Olympic gold medalist Susannah Townsend, who returns for the first time since November due to an injury sustained at the Champions Trophy.

Izzy Petter, 18, could make her debut and Grace Balsdon is one appearance away from 50 caps.

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The women's matches will be followed on both days at 3pm by fixtures for the GB men, also against Argentina - the current Olympic champions - and Belgium, who are the current world champions.

Danny Kerry's squad are lying in third place at the moment, with four wins - including a stunning 5-1 success in Argentina last month - a draw and one loss from six matches played to date.

Tom Sorsby could make his debut, while Liam Ansell and Rhys Smith are also named.

Only a few hundred tickets remain on sale for the Argentina double header, while tickets for the Belgium games are also available online in advance or in person at the venue.

Squads - GB women: Giselle Ansley, Grace Balsdon, Amy Costello, Emily Defroand, Sarah Evans, Sabbie Heesh, Tess Howard, Jo Hunter, Sarah Jones, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Izzy Petter, Suzy Petty, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Robertson, Erica Sanders, Amy Tennant, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth.

GB men: Liam Ansell, David Ames, Will Calnan, David Condon, Brendan Creed, Adam Dixon, Alan Forsyth, James Gall, Harry Gibson, Chris Griffiths, Harry Martin, George Pinner, Phil Roper, Ian Sloan, Rhys Smith, Tom Sorsby, Zach Wallace, Jack Waller, Sam Ward, Ollie Willars.

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