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Ipswich hockey trio named in Team GB’s Olympic cycle for Tokyo 2020

PUBLISHED: 17:04 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:04 19 January 2017

Harry Martin, Great Britain

Harry Martin, Great Britain

PA Archive/PA Images

Three of Ipswich’s finest hockey players have been selected by Great Britain as a new, four-year cycle, culminating with the Tokyo Olympics, begins.

Hannah Martin Hannah Martin

Experienced male duo Harry Martin and George Pinner have been joined by Harry’s sister Hannah, the latter named in the women’s team that will look to retain the gold medal they won in spectacular fashion in Rio, last summer.

Despite being just 24, midfielder Harry Martin is a two-time Olympian, while goalkeeper Pinner featured heavily in Rio, having been an unused squad member at London 2012, when Great Britain finished fourth.

As for Hannah Martin, the 21-year-old midfielder is one of 15 new faces in the ladies’ team, joining 12 of the existing stars that were successful in South America.

Pinner, meanwhile, won a Commonwealth Games bronze medal, alongside Harry Martin, with England in 2014, but, as part of the Team GB squad, failed to build on that success in Brazil, Bobby Crutchley’s side going out at the pool stage.

George Pinner, Great Britain George Pinner, Great Britain

“The over-riding feeling was disappointment, massive disappointment,” said Pinner, who plays for Holcombe in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division.

“There was a real sense of under-achievement, that we had not done ourselves justice.”

Pinner and Harry Martin have been in a 27-man playing squad for the new Olympic cycle – a line-up that includes nine new faces.

So was Pinner ever worried that his place may be under threat?

“It’s a bit of a concern when you have under-achieved – will the coaching staff stay the same? Will the funding be cut? Will I get a place in the squad,” Pinner, who celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday, added.

“It is a nervous time for everyone but I always had a strong belief that I had a lot to offer the programme and now it is up to me to make the most of my selection.”

He added: “The girls were incredible in Rio, while the men have been very close to getting a medal at different tournaments.

“We hope to make further improvements during the next cycle and get in amongst the medals and not just finish fourth.

“There is lots to look forward to with the World Cup and Commonwealth Games next year, while we hope to make the podium at this year’s European Championships.

“All the new guys stepping in to the international squad are ready for senior hockey.”

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy spoke openly about his uncertain future at this morning’s press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Championship game at Preston. STUART WATSON posed the questions.

Mick McCarthy has confirmed striker David McGoldrick will not play again this season.

Mick McCarthy believes Luke Hyam needs to remain patient and push his case on the field as he enters the final few months of his Ipswich Town contract.

Mick McCarthy is hopeful Joe Garner will be fit to face former club Preston this weekend while a trio of youngsters could get a chance to impress at Deepdale.

Ipswich Town take on Preston North End, at Deepdale, on Saturday in what will be their third Championship game in seven days.

Ipswich Town travel to Preston North End for a third Championship game in seven days on Saturday. STUART WATSON previews the action.

Ipswich Town midfielder Luke Hyam knows he is playing for a future at the club he loves.

Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen believes wins will come if the recent level of performances are replicated.

There was a sense a toxic atmosphere awaited manager Mick McCarthy as the Blues faced Cardiff following the weekend’s events at Norwich.

David McGoldrick is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering a groin injury in training, raising the question of whether he has played his final game for Ipswich Town.

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