• England National Teams

England Squads For 2021 EuroHockey Championships Announced

The England men’s and women’s squads travelling to The Netherlands for the 2021 EuroHockey Championships, taking place from 4-13 June, have been announced. 

Adam Dixon and Hollie Pearne-Webb will captain their respective sides, with the latter set to reach the special landmark of 100 England appearances in their second game against Germany. Laura Unsworth could also play her 150th game for England during the tournament. 

With World Cup qualification on offer for both teams, England’s men will face reigning world champions Belgium and 2019 runners-up Spain in their group after beginning their tournament against Russia on 5 June. 

The women play their first match the following day against Italy before taking on the Germans and Belgium in their other pool matches. 

Men’s head coach Danny Kerry has named an experienced squad for the Europeans. This includes 2009 gold medallist Dixon, while David Ames could make his 50th appearance for England if he features in every game.  

Conversely, this will be Ollie Payne‘s first experience of a senior tournament while David Goodfield will pull on an England shirt for the first time since 2018, having returned to international hockey with Great Britain in October. 

Speaking about the Euros, Kerry said: “We are, given the pandemic, very fortunate to have this tournament go ahead. We appreciate how privileged we are to do what we do.  

“After a very intense period of the GB programme, we as England now need to switch into tournament mode which presents a different set of opportunities and challenges.   

“The EuroHockey Championships is one of the most prestigious and high-level tournaments we have the honour to play in. In this event, on top of vying for a medal, there is also the additional lure of automatic World Cup qualification. We look forward to the tournament and playing at the revamped Wagener Stadium in front of some spectators, albeit a limited number.” 

The women’s squad is a blend of experience and youth, with three players – Esme Burge, Fiona Crackles and Lizzie Neal – set to make their England debuts. In addition, eight members of the England team that won European gold in 2015 have been selected, including Unsworth for whom this will be a seventh appearance at the tournament. 

In addition, the uncapped Catherine Ledesma will travel with the squad as a reserve alongside Alex Malzer, who made her senior international debut for Great Britain during the 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League. Long-term injuries rule Tess Howard and Emily Defroand out of selection, while Hannah Martin is also unavailable as she continues her rehabilitation from a leg injury. 

Women’s head coach Mark Hager said: “We are very much looking forward to challenging ourselves against top class European teams at the upcoming Europeans - the competition is always high quality. 

“There are a number of good teams competing to win it so we are relishing the opportunity and challenge that awaits us as we look to continue our progression as a group.”

In order to qualify for the 2023 Men’s World Cup in India, Kerry’s side will need to finish in fifth place or higher at the tournament. With The Netherlands and Spain jointly hosting the 2022 Women’s World Cup, a top-three finish would guarantee Mark Hager’s a team a spot at the tournament or – if the Dutch and/or Spanish place in the top three – they could still qualify by ending the tournament in fourth or fifth. 

All the games will be shown live on BT Sport.