British internationals Sarah Jones and Rose Thomas will be in the Wales Women’s hockey squad due to battle for promotion in the EuroHockey Championships II in Glasgow.
Leah Wilkinson’s side narrowly missed out on promotion to the top tier in Cardiff two years ago and will kick-off their campaign against Italy on Sunday, 4 August. They also take on Turkey and Poland in Pool A.
Eloise Laity, who missed the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow due to injury, is set to earn her 50th cap during the tournament, as will Hannah Cozens. At the other end of the experience scale, Under 21 goalkeeper Lauren Roberts joins the senior squad for the first time.
“This was a difficult selection to make which shows the progress our programmes have made in recent times and the depth of player group we are now able to select a senior squad from,” said head coach, Kevin Johnson.
“After some encouraging performances in the FIH series finals in Valencia, as well as our U21s securing a bronze medal and promotion to European ‘A’ division in their recent tournament in Turkey, the number of players seriously challenging for this selection has been unprecedented.
“It will also be good to see Sarah Jones come back into the squad. She will be looking to add the quality she has shown this year in her GB performances. We are in a pool where we know plenty about each of our opponents.
“We will be focused on doing everything we can to achieve a top two finish to make it into the semi-finals and then try and improve on our fourth place finish at the last Euros.”
Wales Women’s squad:
Beth Bingham, Danni Jordan, Eloise Laity, Emily Rowlands, Hannah Cozens, Izzie Howell, Izzy Webb, Jo Westwood, Julie Whiting, Lauren Roberts (GK), Leah Wilkinson (captain), Natasha Marke-Jones, Phoebe Richards, Rose Thomas (GK), Sarah Jones, Sian French, Sophie Robinson, Xenna Hughes
Non-travelling reserves: Ella Jackson (GK), Jessica Roe, Megan Lewis-Williams, Sarah-Jayne Thorburn