Jackson returns as gb mount final push for grand final

Great Britain Hockey’s all-time leading scorer and three-time Olympian Ashley Jackson returns to the international fold.

One of the most talented players to have lined up for Great Britain and England, Jackson has made 234 combined international appearances, scoring 133 goals. He has twice been named in the FIH World All Stars Team of the Year and is also a former FIH World Young Player of the Year.

Having made his international debut aged just 19, Jackson has featured at three Olympic Games and helped Great Britain to fourth place at London 2012, their best performance in a quarter of a century. He was also part of the England side that won a historic European gold in 2009 and won bronze with them at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Wassenaar – HGC – Kampong Heren, Hoofdklasse Hockey Heren, 1e ronde Play-offs, Playoffs, Halve Finale, Seizoen 2018-2019, 15-05-2019, HGC – Kampong 2-5, Ashley Jackson (HGC) en coach Paul van Ass (HGC) na afloop. (c) Willem Vernes Fotografie

Coming off the back of a highly successful season in the Netherlands with HGC, Jackson was just two goals off of the top spot of the goalscoring charts, all in a season where at the start, he had been written off by many of his peers and the media.  Jackson relished the opportunity to return to his former club and prove his worth to the world in the toughest club league there is. A fundamental cog in HGC machine that secured EHL qualification for the first time since winning the competition in 2011.

Ahead of his return to GB, Jackson said: “I am excited to be back and to continue my hockey on the international stage. I’d like to thank everyone at HGC that has made this possible for me. I’d also like to thank Danny [Kerry] for inspiring and motivating me, I can’t wait to get back with the group and enjoy my hockey at the highest level once again.”

Men’s Head Coach Danny Kerry said: “We’re looking forward to having Ash’s experience, knowledge and skills within the programme. His inclusion further increases the depth within our squad and we look forward to working with him over the coming months ahead.”

Jackson’s return comes at a timely phase of the ProLeague for men’s hockey in Great Britain, with three defeats on the bounce (albeit one on a shootout) to Spain, Argentina and Belgium, GB now find themselves in fourth place in  table and hoping to hold on to qualify for the Grand Final in The Netherlands at the end of June. Jackson’s return also brings with it a wealth of experience and skills, whilst his penalty corner threat is still one of the most feared in the world.  

UTRECHT – Ashley Jackson (HGC) tijdens de hoofdklasse hockeywedstrijd heren, Kampong-HGC (3-3) . COPYRIGHT KOEN SUYK

His return will offer yet another option for Danny Kerry to pick from as he continues to use his wider squad, with 27 players having already featured in the league as preparations continue towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier which will be held towards the end of this year.

All eyes will be on the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Friday 14 June, when the Netherlands come to town as Jackson could make his first appearance since Rio 2016.

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