Welsh Hockey Union: The Wales women’s team kicks off their international hockey programme this week, ahead of a tough summer with clashes against the England and Spain Under 21s supporting senior matches against Ireland, Scotland, France and Ukraine.
The squad has been preparing for some time, but kick off the competitive phase with a three-match tour to France, this weekend.
The matches will be played in Le Touquet and the schedule is as follows:
Match 1: Friday 17 June, 8.30pm
Match 2: Saturday 18 June, 2pm
Match 3: Sunday 19 June, 11am
Captain Georgie Sharples will lead a young but talented group, with a large contingent of players from the successful Under 21 European Trophy winning team from 2004.
Four players will play for Wales at the senior level for the first time this weekend. Defender Emma Griffiths will celebrate her 19th birthday by playing her first game and will be joined by defender Elen Mumford (21), striker Sarah Sloane (19) and defender Natalie Blyth (17) who will also pull on the three feathers for the first time.
David Griffiths, Welsh Hockey Union’s National Performance Coach, is confident that the squad will give a good impression in these matches.
“Following the run of unbeaten matches in last year's Celtic Cup, we have a new influx of younger players who will be looking to continue the improvement seen over the past few years,” he said.
“These matches will be an ideal opportunity for them to stake a claim for places in the European Nations tournament”.
Wales women’s squad against France
Sarah Ashworth (Poynton)
Natalie Blyth (Swansea)
Elen Mumford (Clifton)
Beth Fisher (Swansea)
Nia Fowler (Swansea)
Emma Griffiths (University of Birmingham)
Carys Hopkins (Clifton)
Pippa Jones (Doncaster)
Ria Male (Swansea)
Dawn Mitchell (Swansea)
Ella Rafferty (Exmouth)
Maggs Rees (Swansea)
Georgina Sharples (Olton & WW)
Delyth Sharples (Leicester)
Sarah Sloane (Hightown)
Sarah Thomas (Swansea)
Abi Welsford (Clifton)
Coach: David Griffiths
Assistant Coach: Mark Hopkins
Manager: Andy Ible
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