Dream Team

The Hockey Paper - - MEN'S CUP - BECKIE MID­DLE­TON The 30-year-old Sur­biton, Eng­land and Great Bri­tain de­fender selects a tal­ent­packed XI she’d rel­ish watch­ing play to­gether

Goal­keeper Beth Storry – Eng­land & GB

I could’ve eas­ily cho­sen Mad­die Hinch or Abi Walker, but Beth was the best shot-stop­per in the world in 2008-2010, in par­tic­u­lar. She bowed out in style af­ter the Lon­don 2012 Olympics.

Full-back Kate Richard­sonWalsh – Eng­land & GB

Ev­ery­one knows that Kate is a great cap­tain, but it is her in­cred­i­ble range of pass­ing, ball­win­ning skills and her un­der­rated abil­ity to break a line on the ball at the right mo­ment make her an easy pick. A bril­liant leader and al­ways de­manded the high­est stan­dards in train­ing.

Cen­tre-backs Laura Unsworth – Le­ices­ter, Eng­land & GB

Unsy has de­vel­oped into a world-class de­fender over the last few years. She has two Olympic medals un­der her belt now, but she does not need those to prove how good she is. She is tena­cious, tech­ni­cally bril­liant, and makes those around her look good.

Eva de Goede – SV Kampong

Eva breaks lines ef­fort­lessly at speed and has a great en­gine. I think she’s un­der­rated as a deep mid­fielder at world level, but she’s at the back in my team. She has been qui­etly cru­cial to the Dutch team for al­most a decade.

Full-back Emily Gad­dum – Cen­tral, NZ

Em is the most-capped fe­male Black­stick ever, and for good rea­son. She is a great tack­ler, she rarely makes a mis­take, and has an un­canny abil­ity to read the game. She al­ways seems to be in the right place.

Right-mid­field Sarah Thomas – Great Bri­tain

Sarah had just an in­cred­i­ble ca­pac­ity to do skills at high speed and make de­fend­ers look silly. She could run all day long, and pulled a few bril­liant goals out of the bag too at in­ter­na­tional level.

Cen­tre-mid­field

He­len Richard­sonWalsh – Le­ices­ter, Eng­land & GB Hels is prob­a­bly the best player I’ve ever played with. She makes the game look easy, and al­ways seems to have so much time on the ball. She’s also ice-cool un­der pres­sure and raises her game when it counts the most in the big in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments.

Cen­tre-mid­field

Kayla Whit­lock – Cen­tral, NZ I loved play­ing along­side Kayla in the NHL in New Zealand. She made dif­fi­cult skills look ef­fort­less, and she is a go-to player in any team she plays in.

Left-mid­field

Chloe Rogers – Le­ices­ter, Eng­land & GB Chloe seemed to glide past de­fend­ers like they weren’t there and hit the ball re­ally hard ef­fort­lessly. I’ll al­ways re­mem­ber her penalty stroke for a bronze medal at the 2006 Com­mon­wealths, when we were rook­ies in the Eng­land team.

Striker

Sarah Hay­croft – Sur­biton, Eng­land and GB Crofty won’t thank me for putting her up front, but she’s go­ing there be­cause she bril­liant at elim­i­nat­ing and pass­ing on the move. So that makes her threat­en­ing and cre­ative in at­tack. She’s easy to link with and I en­joy play­ing along­side her.

Striker

Ju­lia King – Sur­biton Jules makes hockey look ef­fort­less and is al­ways so com­posed on the ball in fran­tic and of­ten high-pres­sure game sit­u­a­tions. Her back­hand hit is out­ra­geously good, and it feels like we have a tele­pathic un­der­stand­ing play­ing to­gether and it’s and al­ways good fun.

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