By Hannah Blackwell
Wales hockey coach Kevin Johnson has backed new senior women’s captain Beth Bingham to build on the success of Leah Wilkinson.
Bingham, 28, has been chosen as the team’s new skipper after Wilkinson announced her international retirement earlier this week.
It will mean a new era for Wales, but one with a good deal of continuity, says Johnson, with Bingham – who has won 105 caps – a mainstay in the side under Wilkinson.
“‘Bing’ was the standout candidate to take on the role as captain and was part of the previous captaincy group alongside the now retired Sian French and Leah Wilkinson,” said Johnson.
“As the squad takes a new look and shape as we move into a new Commonwealth Games cycle, I am excited to see what she brings to the role and what the team can achieve under her leadership.”
Swansea-Born Hockey Star Balances Career as Customer Support Specialist and International Player
Swansea-raised Bingham – who plays for Wimbledon HC in the English Premier League – has featured at three Commonwealth Games and four European Championships.
Outside of her time as a hockey player, she maintains a full-time job as a customer support specialist for the Lawn Tennis Association.
She bring experience to the role, having previously been captain of both the under 16 and under 18 national age group squads, including captaining the under 18 teams at the A division European Championships in 2013.
Bingham said: “I feel truly honoured to have been trusted with the responsibility of captain.
“I have been lucky enough to experience incredible leadership from different captains over the years, starting with Abi Welsford and more recently with Leah and Sian and I have learnt so much from them.
“This is an exciting time for us as a squad with Europeans on the horizon this summer and I’m looking forward to leading this young team as we continue to make positive strides.”
Read more about Leah Wilkinson