St Albans star ready for World League after GB call-up

Hannah McLeod, seen here with Ellie Watton, has been called up to the GB squad for the World League

Hannah McLeod, seen here with Ellie Watton, has been called up to the GB squad for the World League Final. Picture: CHRIS HOBSON - Credit: Archant

Hannah Macleod will represent Great Britain for next month’s World Hockey League Finals – a valuable stepping stone on the road to the Olympic Games in Rio.

The St Albans Hockey Club player will be part of the 18-woman squad for the tournament to be held in Roasrio, Argentina.

Great Britain are in a pool with hosts Argentina, who they face in their opening game on December 5, before going up against Australia and China.

The final is scheduled for December 13.

Head coach, Danny Kerry, has made three changes to the squad who competed in the World League semi-final in June, a competition where secured GB’s qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio.

One of those returning to the side is Crista Cullen, part of the bronze medal team from London.

Cullen, who has 171 international caps, stepped away from hockey after 2012 but made a return to the Great Britain training squad last month.

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The World League Final will be her first tournament since her return.

Kerry said he will use the finals to look at a number of combinations under test match and tournament conditions.

He said: “It has been a difficult selection as we will leave behind a number of athletes that could easily swap in for those selected.

“This is testament to the strength we have in depth in this Olympic cycle.

“There will understandably be interest in Crista Cullen’s selection. Fundamentally the test series and tournament provides Crista with an opportunity to get some much needed match play after only completing two practice internationals [against USA in October] since her last outing at the London Olympic Games.

“Crista has returned to the GB programme in great physical shape and now needs exposure to high standard international match play.”

Great Britain squad in full for World League Final:

Ashleigh Ball (Slough)

Sophie Bray (East Grinstead)

Crista Cullen (unattached)

Alex Danson (Reading)

Maddie Hinch (Holcombe)

Joie Leigh (Clifton)

Kirsty Mackay (East Grinstead)

Hannah Macleod (St Albans)

Emily Maguire (Holcombe)

Lily Owsley (University of Birmingham)

Sam Quek (Holcombe)

Helen Richardson-Walsh (Reading)

Kate Richardson-Walsh (Reading)

Susannah Townsend (Canterbury)

Georgie Twigg (Surbiton)

Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead)

Hollie Webb (Surbiton)

Nicola White (Holcombe)