England’s 16 women’s hockey players, announced today as the team for the Delhi Commonwealth Games, could make it four medals in a row if they reach the podium in Delhi this October.
Alex Danson, now on 99 caps, is one of the players seeking to rise to that challenge.
"We've had a fantastic summer, winning bronze in the Champions' Trophy and now we want to push on as a squad and top the year with a big performance at the Commonwealth Games. We have the characters and talent in the team to achieve something special”, said Danson.
England already has two Games silvers (’98 and ‘02) and a bronze (’06) so far since hockey’s introduction to the Games.
Defenders Kate Walsh, captain four years ago, and Helen Richardson are the only survivors of England’s silver medal win in Manchester in 2002 when the women lost out to India on a sudden death golden goal in the final.
They also played in 2006 when the women took bronze against New Zealand – this time on penalties. Chloe Rogers, Beth Storry and Danson, also played in Melbourne.  
The newcomers include Charlotte Craddock who, at 17, became hockey’s youngest ever female hockey Olympian when she was selected for the Beijing Olympic Games.  The Harry Potter fan from Wolverhampton went to Beijing despite having suffered a fracture in her back just a year before the Games which kept her out of the sport for three months in 2007.
England’s women have a strong track record going into the Games.  They were third at this year’s Champions’ Trophy in Nottingham and leave the UK this weekend for this month’s World Cup as part of a gruelling schedule leading up the Games which could see them play seven matches in 11 days in Argentina.
England Hockey Head Coach Danny Kerry said: "This has been a tough selection demonstrating the growing depth of the squad. We need to follow up our bronze medal in the Champions' Trophy last month with a strong performance in the World Cup and then step up again for the Commonwealth Games. This squad has the quality to handle the challenge."

Craig Hunter, England’s Chef de Mission for Delhi said: “We welcome the England women’s hockey players into the squad and wish them every success, first in Argentina and then in their final preparations for Delhi”.
Australia, meanwhile, could provide some of the stiffest opposition in Delhi.  They have won five of the six gold medals on offer to date in men’s and women’s hockey at the Games.  Their only miss came in 2002 when the women’s gold went to India.
The England men’s squad for Delhi is due to be announced on 24 August
Hockey’s popularity with people of all ages and both genders means that, in England, the sport is played by more than 100,000 people with a further 6600 umpires and 4600 coaches contributing to the success of the sport at all levels. It is estimated that some 33,000 young people regularly play hockey in England.
England Women’s Hockey Squad – Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010

Name (date and place of birth, living, caps, club)
Ashleigh Ball  25.03.86, Brighton, lives Cheltenham, 24, Slough
Charlotte Craddock 24.10.90, Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, 8, Clifton
Crista Cullen 20.08.85, Boston in Lincs, Roehampton, 69, Leicester
Alex Danson 21.05.85, Southampton, Marlow, 99, Reading
Susie Gilbert  21.02.89, Sutton Coldfield, Yoxall in Staff, 27, Uni of Birmingham
Hannah Macleod 09.06.82, Boston in Lincs, Ealing, 23, Leicester
Helen Richardson 23.09.81, Hitchin, Twyford nr Reading, 122, Reading
Chloe Rogers 30.03.85, Harlow, Dunmow in Essex, 75, Leicester
Natalie Seymour 29.09.86, Preston, Isleworth in Middx, 33, Canterbury
Beth Storry 24.04.78, Reading, Reading, 51, Reading
Georgina Twigg 21.11.90, Lincoln, Lincoln, 7, Clifton
Laura Unsworth 08.03.88, Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, 23, Leicester
Kate Walsh 09.05.80, Withington nr Manchester, Reading, 160, Reading
Sally Walton 10.06.81, Southport, Solihull, 62, Bowdon Hightown
Nicola White 20.01.88, Oldham, Rochdale, 21, Slough
Kerry Williams 21.03.86, Leicester, Leicester, 40, Leicester
Travelling reserves:  Gemma Ible 29.01, 88, St Asaph, Denbighshire, Cardiff, Wales, 2, Ciifton;  Katie Long 13.05.88, Burton-on-Trent, Derby, 22, Leicester
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport.
Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games. England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes.
Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers. Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.