Great Britain’s Giselle Ansley is aiming to put some wins on the board when the women’s squad go on their second tour in the FIH Pro League to face the USA (31 March) and Argentina (6 April).
Great Britain last faced the Americans at Rio 2016, recording a 2-1 victory thanks to goals from Sophie Bray and Alex Danson, and Ansley is looking forward to facing the side she also made her GB debut against.
“I remember making my GB debut in San Diego in 2014 where we had a couple of games against the USA and New Zealand,” she recalled.
“It’s always an incredibly special feeling to pull on a GB shirt and this time will be no different.
“Going to Spooky Nook will be a good challenge for us. I’ve watched quite a few of their games so far, they’re also in a rebuilding phase and have got a lot of new players. Maybe they’re lacking a bit of experience but that’s pretty similar to us, so it should be a really good challenge.
“Melissa Gonzalez, Michelle Vitesse and Sally Briggs all stepped aside to take up coaching roles so it’s a very different team to the one we last faced in 2016, but they’ve got a youthful look about them and I’m excited to see what happens.”
The GB side has welcomed Mark Hager as Head Coach alongside a series of talented young players from the EDP (Great Britain Elite Development Programme) to the senior squad this year.
Lizzie Neal, Holly Hunt and Holly Munro were all called into the squad for the first FIH Pro League tour, while 18-year-old Alex Malzer has also been selected for the upcoming matches.
Reflecting on her own squad’s transition, Ansley said: “It’s been really good having Mark Hager on board. It’s a different, more attacking style of play and if we can keep the foundations of our defence that we are more well known for and add that attacking flair to it then hopefully there will be some really exciting hockey coming from our team.
“It’s been really good having Mark come in, he’s brought a renewed energy and really freshened things up. David Ralph has also done a fantastic job with us, both of those two working together is going to be good fun.
“We had some warm-up matches against Ireland before we went on tour and there were seven EDP players that joined in the games, which is incredible. It shows how good the EDP programme is at bridging the gap between junior international hockey and the senior programme.
“The fact that we’ve got that many people that can come through and make a name for themselves is great. It’s really exciting and I hope all the girls in the programme can see that it is possible, with hard work and commitment they can make it to the senior squad.”
The USA game will be shown live on BT Sport from 11pm GMT and you could be there for the return fixture when hockey comes to London on 27 April for GB’s first home FIH Pro League match