England U21s squads named for European Championship

England's U21 Boys at the 2017 Euros
With under a week to go until England begin their European U21 Championship campaign, the squads for the men’s and women’s teams that will be competing in Valencia have been announced.

Both teams feature players who have already gained senior international caps with Zach Wallace, who appeared in all 16 of Great Britain’s men’s FIH Pro League matches, the most notable inclusion. 

Zach Wallace The Pride

Two others with senior international caps are Alex Malzer, who made two GB appearances in the FIH Pro League, and goalkeeper Miriam Pritchard, who has three England caps to her name. 

Miriam Pritchard

The women’s squad share a group with Germany, Belgium and Belarus, with the first match to be played on July 15 against Belgium. 

Women’s Head Coach Paul Revington commented: “The announcement of the England U21 team to travel to Valencia concluded a really enjoyable ten-month journey with a vibrant and hard-working squad of English athletes. We travel to Valencia in the knowledge that our team is as strong as the squad who have helped get us to this point. 

“The team has an interesting mix of a sprinkling of experience, several high potential youth and several athletes representing England at a major age group level again or for the first time. Only Holly Munro (captain) and Miriam Pritchard remain from the England U21 team who claimed a bronze medal in 2017 – giving an indication that any success in 2019 will rely heavily on a collective team effort over the course of the event. 

“The squad has enjoyed good preparation despite the expected challenges involving university exams, injuries and senior team call ups. The final preparation phase has our team based in Valencia for a short holding camp where we play warm up games against Ireland and the Netherlands.”

(Captain Holly Munro) 
Holly Munro

The men’s squad will face Belgium, Spain and Poland in the group, with their opening game of the tournament to also be played on July 15 against Poland.

Men’s Head Coach Jon Bleby commented: “There are some really high-quality teams in the tournament so it’s a good chance to test yourself against the very best teams in Europe. It’s also a tournament where the players are under pressure to perform, in terms of getting them ready for what they’ll face in equivalent senior competitions, so it’s great preparation for them.

“We’ve picked an exciting squad. There’s strength in several areas, we’ve got good attacking skills, corner threat and two good goalkeepers so I think we’re a well-balanced team.

“We always try to take it one game at a time, that’s our ethos. Our first game is against Poland, they’re a bit more unknown to us compared to some of the other teams that we play against more regularly as they were promoted from the B division last year. They will be a tough challenge, we’re expecting them to be tight defensively and hard to breakdown. It won’t be an easy game but it’s certainly a challenge that we’re really looking forward to.

Both teams will be looking to build on their 2017 European U21 Championship performances when the men and women finished in 5th and 3rd place respectively. A top 5 place in Valencia will also guarantee qualification for the 2021 FIH junior World Cup.

Women’s squad:
Katie Birch – IOWA University
Hannah Bond – Maryland University
Nicole Bowen – ISCA/Exeter University
Louisa Bray – Durham University
Iona Campbell – Loughborough University
Meg Dowthwaite – Michigan University
Paige Gillott – Beeston/Nottingham Trent University
Sophie Hamilton – Bath Buccaneers HC
Catherine De Ledesma – Birmingham University
Pippa Lock – East Grinstead HC
Alexandra Malzer – Nottingham University 
Vicki McCabe – Clifton HC
Lorna Mackenzie – Stourport HC 
Holly Munro – Birmingham University
Jennifer Park – Loughborough University
Miriam Pritchard – Loughborough University
Lottie Ross – Beeston/Nottingham University
Lily Walker – Birmingham University

Support Staff:
Paul Revington – Head Coach
Sam Beveridge – Manager
Hannah Macleod – Assistant Coach
Lynn Booth – Physiotherapist
Keith Stone – Notational Analyst 

Men’s squad:
Adam Buckle – Nottingham University
Tom Crowson – Loughborough Students
Josh Gravestock – Wimbledon
Gareth Griffiths – Beeston/Nottingham Trent University
Sam Hooper – Exeter University
Kyle Marshall – Beeston/Nottingham Trent University
James Mazarelo (GK) – Bowdon
Tim Nurse – Bath Buccaneers
James Oates – Hampstead & Westminster
Nick Park – Beeston/Nottingham Trent University
Josh Pavis – Nottingham University
Oliver Payne (GK) – Durham University
Matthew Ramshaw – Loughborough Students
Stuart Rushmere – Bath Buccaneers 
Duncan Scott – Exeter University
Zach Wallace – Surbiton
Eddie Way – Birmingham University
Daniel West – Loughborough Students

Support Staff:
Jon Bleby – Head Coach 
Paul Gannon – Team Manager
Kwan Browne – Assistant Coach
Laura Hanna – Physiotherapist
Emma Bird – Performance Analyst 

Congratulations to all the players selected and our thanks to the huge team behind the team  - parents, coaches, clubs, schools and universities – who have supported the players to get to this point.