Sarah Haycroft, has been called up to the Great Britain's women squad for the upcoming tour of Argentina..
Sarah and her teammates will take on the world number three side in a five-match test series between the 10th-17th February.
Sarah who captains Surbiton Ladies 1s, has gone from strength to strength as an international player since making her debut in 2013. Sarah has been an ever-present member of both the England and GB hockey teams since her international breakthrough and is sure to play a key role in Argentina next month if Team GB are to be victorious.
want to know more about sarah?
Read our Q&A below with the Team GB star as she looks back on her earliest memories of Hockey and the exciting year ahead which see's the Womens Hockey World Cup come to home soil for the first time!
What is your earliest hockey memory?
I went to one of Brett Garrard’s (my current Surbiton coach) summer hockey camps when I was 10, as my brother was going and I just wanted to follow him everywhere! Brett, Kate Richardson-Walsh and many other Internationals were coaching at the camp so my first coaches were pretty hard to top!
Who has had the biggest influence on your hockey career?
I’ve been very lucky to have always had the unwavering support of my family. They have always come to support me, from standing watching me play in the driving rain in the Surrey Division where they were the only people watching, to flying to America to watch the Junior World Cup. Without their support and driving me to all my training and matches when I was younger I don’t think I would have been able to reach my goals.
What is your fondest memory in the sport?
Receiving my first Senior International Cap in The Investec Challenge, 2013 in South Africa, a country I had fallen in love with when I had travelled there as part of my school hockey tour in 2005. Being able to walk out onto the pitch with the senior team, realising one of my biggest goals was a feeling I’ll never forget.
How would you describe your playing style in 3 words?
Composed, skilful, determined.
Who is your sporting idol outside of hockey?
I am a huge sports fan and have admired so many sports men and women over the years, but my second love has always been Liverpool FC and of course Captain Fantastic, Steven Gerrard was always an idol of mine. His captaincy style is something I’ve always admired and looked to replicate myself, leading by example, and giving everything for the team.
What does a standard training week look like for you?
I train full time at Bisham Abbey with the GB women and then with Surbiton HC one night a week, with a game at the weekend. Our Hockey sessions are 2 hours long and Gym sessions range from an hour to an hour and a half. On a Monday we have Hockey training and gym; Tuesday we have double hockey; Wednesday is a rest day so that we can make the most out of the remainder of the week; Thursday we have Gym, Hockey and then Surbiton training in the evening; Friday is Hockey and Gym; Saturday is Game Day with Surbiton! and finally Sunday is a rest day ready to head back to Bisham on Monday!
Why is 2018 such an exciting year for women's hockey?
2018 is set to be a hugely exciting year for womens' hockey! We are hosting the Womens Hockey World Cup for the first time ever. It will be held at Lee Valley Hockey centre, at the Olympic Park, London from 25th July- 5th August. All the England matches have already sold out! The atmosphere will be amazing and we’re hoping the home advantage will be our 12th player and help us bring home Gold! In the build up to the World Cup, we’ve also got the Commonwealth Games which is being held on the Gold Coast, Australia in April; and my club Surbiton is hosting the Eurohockey Club Cup from the 17th-20th May, also the first time this tournament has ever been held in England! So plenty of chances for everyone to watch the best hockey players in the world!
Is there a particular event you are most looking forward to?
Being able to play in a home World Cup would be one of the most special events you could play in, so everything we are doing as a squad is all geared around being able to perform at the highest level at the World Cup. Hockey is becoming more and more popular and in the public eye, so being able to host the World Cup, having all the England matches sold out already just shows how popular it is! When we hosted the European Championships in 2015, the atmosphere was electric and gave the girls that extra something to beat the Dutch on penalties and bring home the Gold, so we are hoping for more of the same this year!!
If you weren't a full-time athlete what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t a full time athlete I probably would have followed in my Dad’s footsteps and become a Barrister. I toyed with doing a law conversion degree after completing my Undergraduate degree from the University of Birmingham, but after advice from my dad, I decided to concentrate fully on hockey and break into the Senior team, which I did the following year, so I think it was the right decision!