Great Britain women’s Olympic 2020 hopes, as well as future funding, will hinge on two matches against Chile in November, while the men’s side will host Malaysia on the same weekend following yesterday’s play-off draw in Lausanne. Olympic fans from all over the world are invited to book Olympic 2020 tickets from our online platforms for Olympic Tickets. Olympic Hockey fans can book Olympic Hockey Tickets from our ticketing marketplace exclusively on discounted prices.
Chile, ranked 18th in the world, are South America’s second-best women’s side but have never qualified for a World Cup and Great Britain will be heavy favorites to ensure they line up in Tokyo for their Olympic defense.
The back-to-back matches will take place at Lee Valley on November 2-3. International hockey is rarely played so late in the year here and it will be a tough test for the Chileans, who finished fourth at the recent Pan American Games.
However, Great Britain has its own mountain to negotiate when they return to training next week. Following a poor Championship last month, the women failed to medal for the first time in 16 years, which included a career-low for a majority of the side – an 8-0 hammering by Holland, the new European and world champions.
“What opened my eyes was that we weren’t fit enough but I’m confident that the girls are on the right track,” said Coach Mark Hager.
With Great Britain leading the way as the best-funded programmed in world hockey, extra strength and conditioning sessions at Bisham Abbey will pose few problems for the squad. The test will be how they react after their Dutch defeat, followed by losing out on a bronze medal to part-time Spain.
Lily Owsley, who was England’s joint top-scorer with two goals in Antwerp, said: “I don’t think anyone individually had dealt with a defeat [to Holland] that big in their careers. But it’s still up to us and we are in control of it at our own home. I’ve got every faith this team will qualify.”
Coach Danny Kerry said: “With a very experienced coach in Roelant Oltmans, they will be very well prepared. We will respect them and prepare accordingly.”
Meanwhile, the men will be aiming to keep a 23-year unbeaten record intact after they were drawn to face world No 11 Malaysia in their doubleheader. The play-off draw also paired Ireland women and men against Canada, home and away respectively.