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Hockey: Defroand in GB squad for next Pro League trip

PUBLISHED: 11:30 22 March 2019

Emily Defroand in action for GB (pic Lawrence King)

Emily Defroand in action for GB (pic Lawrence King)

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Havering’s Emily Defroand has been named in Great Britain’s 20-strong team to travel to the United States and Argentina for their next FIH Pro League fixtures.

Former Coopers pupil Defroand appeared in defeats against New Zealand and Australia before a shootout win over China earlier this year and keeps her place.

Olympic gold medalist Laura Unsworth returns to the fold after injury, while Amy Costello is set for her debut in the competition.

Lily Owsley is set to win her 50th GB cap, while Hannah Martin would reach the same milestone for combined internationals if she plays in both matches.

Hampstead’s Sarah Robertson is also retained, as goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh is called up and Alex Malzer, 18, is the latest of the GB Elite Developlment Programme athletes to make it into an FIH Pro League squad.

If she plays, Malzer would become the first player born in the 21st century to play for GB or England.

Head coach Mark Hager said: “We are looking forward to playing again after a three-week training phase. USA and Argentina will be a good challenge for the group and provides another opportunity to work on the team structures and concepts.

“It’s great to have Laura Unsworth back with the team. She missed our past three games due to injury, so we’re excited to have someone with Laura’s experience and leadership back involved, along with Amy Costello and Sabbie Heesh.

“Alex Malzer has shown good development in our EDP programme and has now been provided with this opportunity to further assist her in growing on the world stage.”

GB face the USA on Sunday March 31 at Spooky Nook, Lancaster at 11pm UK time and then visit Argentina on Saturday April 6 at 10pm.

Both matches are live on BT Sport, with GB’s home games in the FIH Pro League starting at the end of April. Tickets start at just £5 for under-16s and £15 for adults.

GB: Ansley, Balsdon, Cochrange, Costello, Defroand, Evans, Heesh, Howard, Hunter, Jones, Malzer, Martin, Neal, Owsley, Pearne-Webb, Petty, Rayer, Robertson, Toman, Unsworth.

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