Jo gets call up for England
HOCKEY: Ipswich midfielder Jo Ellis has been called into England women's hockey squad to play a four-Test series in South Africa next week.The 20-year-old student will join up with her Tuddenham Road club captain, Leisa King, in the 18-strong squad for the matches.
By Martin White
IPSWICH midfielder Jo Ellis has been called into England women's hockey squad to play a four-Test series in South Africa next week.
The 20-year-old student will join up with her Tuddenham Road club captain, Leisa King, in the 18-strong squad for the matches.
Ellis, who has improved each year since breaking into the first team, scored four goals this season and was also instrumental in setting up others for forwards Sarah Bamfield, Lizzie Aldous and Tanya Barnard.
Surprisingly, Ellis has not represented England at youth level, but this call-up will ensure she gains her first cap.
Four players from Olton and West Warwicks, who beat Slough in the Premiership play-off final are also included in the squad, but Clifton's Denise Marston-Smith, the highest profile member of the England set-up, has been left out.
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Coach Tricia Heberle said: "Denise has been an established player over the past 12 months and we have made the decision that is is better to look at another player.
"Rachel Walker and Kerry Moore are in on the back of good performances for Olton while Jo Ellis has basically been selected on her club performances and displays at regional training. She is certainly someone we are looking at for the longer term."
England will play the opening Test in Potchefstroom next Tuesday before moving to Randburg where the three remaining games will be played on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
England squad: Bennett, Clewlow, Houslop (Canterbury), Bimson, Blanks, Richardson (Leicester), Grant, Walker, Wright, Moore (Olton & West Warks) King, Ellis (Ipswich), Nicholson, Walsh, Smith (Slough), Reid, Cullen (Hightown), Roberts (Chelmsford).