Hockey: Olympians dominate Great Britain squad

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The Independent Online

Tricia Heberle, the England coach who has just returned from the European Nations Cup in Barcelona, yesterday announced her Great Britain Olympic Training Squad for Athens.

Eight of those who did duty in Sydney 2000 are included with two others, Denise Marston-Smith and Helen Richardson recovering from injuries likely to be included if they can prove their fitness.

Three Scottish players, Sam Judge, Alison Rowatt and Jane Burley, who toured South Africa with Great Britain, have made way for three of their national colleagues, Vikki Bunce, Kath Gray and Cheryl Valentine, who along with England's third-choice goalkeeper Katy Roberts, are the only uncapped GB players in the selection. A fourth goalkeeper, Wales' Michelle Thomas is included.

The squad will play in a four-nations tournament in the United States on 1-13 October followed by a three-nations event in Buenos Aires on 13-28 October. As a result, it seems likely that England will be taking a very much below strength team to the Champions Trophy in Sydney at the end of November. The 10-nations Olympic qualifying event will be in Auckland on 19-28 March next year

Mike Gilbert (Scotland) and Bobby Crutchley (England) have been named as coaching assistants to Heberle.

GB OLYMPIC TRAINING SQUAD: A Bennett, J Bimson, S Blanks, M Clewlow*, H Grant, F Houslop, L King, M Nicholson*, A Panter, C Reid*, K Roberts, H Rose*, J Smith*, R Walker, K Walsh* & L Wright* (all England), V Bunce, L Carroll, L Clement, K Gray, E Rochlin, R Simpson* & C Valentine (all Scotland), S Thomas & M Thomas (both Wales). * Sydney Olympians.