England have named a 20-strong squad for the Junior Women’s World Cup in South Africa.
There is significant excitement going into this event; it has been six years since the last tournament in Chile in 2016, and this iteration was also postponed from its original date of December 2021, meaning there has been an unprecedented build-up as an African nation hosts this event for the first time.
The event takes place from 1 – 12 April in Potchefstroom.
Simon Letchford’s squad is an exciting and talented group, led on the pitch by Captain Millie Giglio of the University of Birmingham.
With their team currently top of the Vitality Women’s Division One North, University of Nottingham have four representatives in the squad, including one of the domestic league’s top scorers Maddie Axford, as well as Mollie Mason who is named as one of England’s two Vice Captains. The other Vice Captain is goalkeeper Mila Welch of East Grinstead.
Head Coach Simon Letchford said: “After the disappointment of the event being postponed last December, I am delighted that twenty athletes are going to have the opportunity to participate in such a fantastic tournament.
“With a large number of the squad selected in December having transitioned into the senior squad, this is a new Under 21 group. In the short space of time together, it has been great to see them develop so quickly and during our time in South Africa I look forward to seeing them continue to grow both individually and as a team.
“In playing with intensity and without fear, I hope that this tournament creates memories that last forever and will shape their future.”
Nine of the 20 players originally announced in December’s squad are selected again. A number of players originally selected have now stepped up to be part of the senior programme, including Olympic medallists Fiona Crackles and Izzy Petter, plus Darcy Bourne, Alex Malzer and the Hamilton twins Olivia and Sophie.
After finishing seventh at the last event in 2016, this group will be hoping to improve on that. In the previous two events the women just missed out on a podium placing, finishing fourth in 2009 and 2013. The England men’s team were unfortunately unable to take part in their event in India late last year.
England only have three teams in their Pool, following the sad withdrawal of the Ukraine team a few days before the event is due to begin.
|Beth Alexander||Loughborough University|
|Maddie Axford||University of Nottingham|
|Bronte Brough||Repton Hockey Club|
|Tilly Butterworth||Repton Hockey Club|
|Kitty Chapple||Clifton Robinsons|
|Katie Curtis||University of Nottingham|
|Georgie Gardens||Harleston Magpies|
|Millie Giglio (Captain)||University of Birmingham|
|Emily Guckian||Harvard University|
|Lorna Mackenzie||Loughborough University|
|Vicki McCabe||Team Bath Buccaneers|
|Becky Manton||University of Birmingham|
|Mollie Mason (Co-Vice Captain)||University of Nottingham|
|Claudia Swain||University of Nottingham|
|Mila Welch (GK and Co-Vice Captain)||East Grinstead|
|Evie Wood (GK)||University of Birmingham|
|Simon Letchford||Head Coach|
|John Bell||Assistant Coach|
|Tom Millington||Goalkeeping Coach|
|Hannah Cureton||Performance Analyst|
1 April England v South Africa 11am local time
2 April England v Ireland 5pm local time
If finishing first or second in pool:
8 April Quarter Finals
10 April Semi Finals
12 April Final / 3rd-4th play-off
If finishing third or fourth in pool:
7, 9 & 11 April Classification matches
All games will be available to watch for a small fee on the FIH’s Watch.Hockey app and website. A pass for the tournament is £4.49.
In addition, England Hockey would like to warmly congratulate umpire Rebecca Woodcock after she was added to the list of umpires for this event.