Seven south west London hockey stars are looking to help England record their first world cup win as The Vitality Women’s Hockey Word Cup London 2018 begins today.
Five players from Surbiton Hockey Club and two from The Wimbledon Club are part of Danny Kerry’s squad of 17.
The 14th women’s hockey world cup sees England host for the first time, and arguably gives them their best ever chance of world cup victory.
The second ranked nation are in Pool B alongside the USA, India and Ireland and begin their campaign by facing India at 2pm today.
Here’s who to look out for:
Caps: 88 (ENG), 25 (GBR)
Pearne-Webb is one of the best defenders in the world right now.
Tough, determined, and in possession of a mean hit, she became a British legend in 2016 when she scored the winning penalty in the gold medal match at the Olympic final in Rio.
The 27-year-old made her international debut in 2013 and was named player of the tournament at the 2017 Women’s EuroHockey Nations Championship where England finished third.
Giselle Ansley (pictured above)
Caps: 80 (ENG), 39 (GBR)
Ansley was also part of the 2016 Olympic gold medal side.
She made her international debut in 2013 and is known for her drag-flick and passing range. The 26-year-old will be central to England’s campaign.
Caps: 31 (ENG), 5 (GBR)
Toman, 25, has quickly become a mainstay in the England squad since her debut in 2017.
She had great international success at youth level, winning two bronze medals for England at under-21 events and said: “It’s business time and we are ready.”
Caps: 55 (ENG), 19 (GBR)
Haycroft is a pacy, skilful midfielder who captains Surbiton Hockey Club Ladies 1s.
She made her England debut in 2013 and her dependable nature has seen her become a key part of the England team.
Caps: 30 (ENG), 4 (GBR)
Martin, 23, made her England debut in 2017, helping England to EuroHockey bronze.
Her speed and trickery make her difficult to defend against, and the talent clearly runs in the family as her brother Harry represented Team GB at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Caps: 13 (ENG), GBR (4)
Despite making her England debut in 2013, Petty is one of the least internationally experienced members of the squad and is looking to prove her worth at the world cup.
The 26-year-old said: “Thank you to everyone for all your support, you have been amazing and we will do our best to make you all proud.”
Caps: 28 (ENG), 5 (GBR)
Hunter is a pacy attacker with an eye for goal and previously won the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy with Leicester.
Hunter, who made her England debut in 2013, is married to England and GB men’s goalkeeper George Pinner.
The 27-year-old and her husband both returned with bronze medals from the 2017 European Championships.
Sixteen teams are taking part in the tournament, which runs from 21 July to 5 August.
All of the 36 matches will take place Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the London 2012 legacy facility for hockey which has a capacity of 10,000.
For more information and tickets visit the site: http://www.fih.ch/events/world-cup/world-cup-2018/hockey-world-cup-london-2018-w/