Where it all began for our players

KRW lifts the Euros trophy

Ever wondered how our Great Britain superstars made it to the top? Well we shed some light on a few of our hockey super stars where their hockey journey started

Sam Quek

Sam Quek in action for England.jpg

Introduced to hockey at school, Sam's PE teacher encouraged her to join a club, which turned out to be the Mini Panthers in Wirral. Chester HC was Sam's first club as a junior starting in the fourth team before quickly gaining recognition and playing first team hockey for Chester in the National league.  During her final season at Chester she was encouraged to train with Bowdon Hightown when she was just 15. She also played football for a local team but decided to stick with hockey.  

After enjoying playing with her friends, staying with hockey was a done deal, getting onto the centralised training squad and gaining her first international cap against Argentina back in 2008. This was during her studies at Leeds Beckett University where she graduated in 2010 with a degree in Sport & Exercise Science. A tough tackling defender, Quek has a European gold medal in the trophy cabinet and after her first Olympics this summer in Rio she added another gold medal to keep it company.

Sam visited Bowdon Hightown HC with BBC Get Inspired which you can watch here.


Michael Hoare

Mikey Hoare: England's Mr Reliable

Michael, known as Mikey was first introduced to hockey via his primary school and after enjoying it so much he joined his local club Formby HC in Liverpool. He played multiple sports growing up and had to make the decision in his late teenage years whether he had to concentrate on football or hockey.

A key tackler in defence and great for carrying the ball out of trouble, Michael has been part of the centralised programme after his England debut against India in the 2012 Champions Trophy. Hoare has been a fixture in the side for a while now, earning praise for his consistency and his no-nonsense approach to keeping attackers at bay. A keen sportsman, Michael's also a qualified PE teacher and hockey coach, doing both for his current club Wimbledon, Barnes and a host of other clubs.

 

Hollie Webb

Hollie Webb v Germany CT 2014 450

Hollie started at Belper hockey club after they advertised their Sunday morning junior sessions at the local primary school and fell in love with the sport from the very first session. A fan of being active, Hollie also enjoyed netball in school and other sports outside of hockey, as well as coaching local youngsters when she's not playing. She has played for Belper, Cannock, and Beeston. She currently plays with Investec Women’s League Champions Surbiton.

She made her England debut against South Africa in Cape Town in 2013, just before finishing her degree in Economics from the University of Sheffield. Webb is a superb defender with a mean hit and has a Commonwealth Games silver as well as a European gold medal.

2016 saw Webb shoot into the public consciousness as her ice-cool temperament under pressure allowed her to slot in the winner in the shootout in the Olympic final, sparking wild scenes and ensuring Team GB came home with a gold medal. 

 

Ashley Jackson

Ashley Jackson has left East Grinstead for Holcombe

Ashley is from Chatham in Kent and began playing hockey at local side Tunbridge Wells before moving to East Grinstead. Ashley also played county cricket to under 18 level and England age group ice hockey. He grew up playing his club hockey at East Grinstead with his brother Wesley, taking a couple of years out to join HGC in the Netherlands before returning to his home team before moving to Holcombe in 2015. After the Rio Olympics Jackson returned 'home' to rejoin East Grinstead once more.

Ashley made his debut when he was 19 years old and has been one of the star players in the Great Britain line-up ever since with numerous international caps and goals to his name. Renowned for his drag flicking, Ashley is acknowledged by his peers as one of the best players in the world; he has twice been named in the FIH World All Stars Team in 2009 and 2010 and was named the FIH World Young Player of the Year in 2009. He is his country's all time leading scorer and headed to his third Olympics in Rio this year.


Inspired? Then start your hockey journey by finding your nearest club at www.englandhockey.co.ukplayhockeySQ today!