Great Britain and England Hockey are pleased to announce a new player leadership structure for our international men’s hockey teams.
Adam Dixon will be the new captain of both teams, with David Ames selected as vice captain.
The remainder of the player leadership group is formed by George Pinner, Phil Roper and Jack Waller.
Performance Director Ed Barney said, “This is an exciting period for the men’s programme and it has been great to see the programme evolve and progress following on from Rio. Building on the great work initially led by Bobby Crutchley and Katie Warriner, the time is right for an evolved leadership model and I have no doubt that Adam and the leadership group will lead the programme exceptionally well into a new era of men’s international success.”
Head Coach Danny Kerry commented, “Following the great work post-Rio by the captaincy group of Phil Roper, George Pinner and Ian Sloan we have worked with the athlete and staff group to think about what leadership we need moving forward. I am delighted with the appointment of Adam Dixon as captain, he is hugely respected by his peers, has worked hard at stretching aspects of his game and his leadership in recent months and has a fine reputation as a leader with his club at Beeston.
“Adam will be supported and complimented by the remainder of the athlete leadership group with David Ames as Vice Captain, and Phil Roper, George Pinner and Jack Waller completing the leadership team. They have already begun to consider their roles and responsibilities to the team and how they will operate. The staff and team are excited by the evolution of this critical part of the programme.”
Dixon is the most experienced player in the current men’s squad with more than 250 appearances for both Great Britain and England. A dependable, reliable character both on and off the pitch, the 32-year-old won gold in the 2009 European Championships, and has also won Commonwealth Games medals on two occasions. He played in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and is also a well-respected leader at his club side Beeston. He has also played club hockey in the Netherlands, and won the India Hockey League with Kalinga Lancers. Adam was born in Nottingham and, like England men’s cricket captain Joe Root, attended Worksop College.
Adam added, “I’m obviously delighted to be given the opportunity to captain my country. With it there obviously comes a huge amount of responsibility and I feel that at I am at the stage in my career where I can give my all to the captaincy and continue to try give my best performances on the field.
“I don’t take this challenge lightly and there’s certainly going to be times when the team and myself are tested to our limits over the coming months. However, I feel the squad is in a good position to tackle these challenges head on. Firstly there are some excellent existing leaders within the group who can play a massive role in steering our performances and shaping our team culture. Secondly, we have some real talent across the squad that is hungry to improve every time they step onto the training ground. Both of the above fill me with genuine excitement and optimism for the coming FIH Pro League and Olympic qualification campaigns.”
Vice Captain Ames, 29, hails from Cookstown, Northern Ireland, and has been part of the Great Britain programme since 2015, having previously played for Ireland. In that time he has played in the Olympics, European Championships and World Cup. In 2016 he was voted player of the year in the men’s English Hockey League, and he has the respect of both his teammates and staff for his dedication to the sport and ability to read the game.
Ipswich-born Pinner and Chester-born Roper have been part of the leadership structure since early 2017, while Wimbledon’s Waller – who has only just turned 22 – is a new addition having only come into the squad in the latter part of 2018 under new coach Danny Kerry.
With the first ever FIH Pro League now underway and Olympic qualification on the line in 2019, this is a very exciting time for the sport. Great Britain’s men earned a super 6-5 win in their first match away to Spain, and they are now in Christchurch for their next fixture at 4am UK time on Friday. Friday’s game is live on BT Sport, as are all Great Britain games in this competition. The league has started in fine style, with an incredible 51 goals in the first seven men’s matches. Great Britain are currently the only side with a 100% win ratio.
Great Britain’s men’s first home game in the competition is on Saturday May 4 against Spain at London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Tickets on sale now from £7.50 Under 18s and £22.50 adults.
The British women also play their first match on Friday, taking on New Zealand at 6am UK time. Newly-appointed coach Mark Hager is now with the team and will be looking to overcome a New Zealand side he managed for the best part of a decade.