The FIH have today confirmed the hugely exciting fixture list for the first ever Hockey Pro League in 2019.
Playing as Great Britain, the nation’s men and women will face the world’s best sides both home and away between January and June 2019 in a revolutionary new competition.
The men’s and women’s teams each play 16 games against the world’s elite, with a total of 152 fixtures across the globe, with a grand final at the end of the campaign, and Olympic qualification also on the line.
Both teams will play as Great Britain in 2019 and 2020 as they lead up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, then as England in 2021 and 2022.
Great Britain’s men begin their campaign on Friday 25th January 2019 away to Spain, and their first home game is the return fixture against the Spanish on 4th May 2019.
Great Britain’s women play their first match away to New Zealand on Sunday 10th February 2019, and their first home match is a cracking game against the USA on Saturday 27th April 2019.
Great Britain and England women’s head coach Danny Kerry said:
The Pro League is a step into the unknown for us and all of the teams. We are used to preparing for tournaments, not one off matches. The differences are subtle but significant in terms of the time away, the preparation around and in those travelling periods.
We are well advanced in our planning and thinking. Our start to 2019 involves long haul travel to NZ, Australia and China, the format is fresh and the prospect of the matches exciting. We follow that up with another period away to the USA and Argentina toward the end of March.
A phase of more local European based competition will lead to an exciting series of matches on home soil, and on a personal level I’m excited to be involved in that regularity of matches in front of a home crowd. Getting the top level of our exciting skilful sport more frequent exposure is an exciting development we are looking forward to!
Great Britain and England men’s head coach Bobby Crutchley said:
We have some big events to come in 2018 which are at the forefront of our minds, however we are very excited to see this schedule and all the great matches to come in 2019 in front of big crowds all over the world and especially at home.
Great Britain and England men’s co-captain Ian Sloan said:
To have regular competition against the top nations all over the world is something that we can really look forward to, I’m really excited about it and it’s great to see this schedule.
Sunday 19th May 2019 will be very exciting as our men and women play Belgium at home on the same day, while Sunday 9th June 2019 also looks a great date for the diary as both teams host Australia. On 14th and 15th June 2019 we host the Netherlands, before the big finale at home to New Zealand on Sunday 23rd June.
All of Great Britain men’s and women’s home matches take place between April and June 2019, with the Olympic legacy venue Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre once again set to host elite hockey on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
Importantly for hockey on these shores, Pakistan’s men’s team will play their home games in Scotland, and they host Olympic Champions Argentina first on Sunday 12th May 2019. Great Britain’s men will play in Glasgow on Saturday 25th May 2019, and Netherlands come to town on Sunday 16th June 2019.
Ticket information for the competition will be announced later in the year, and if you would like to get the news first, sign up to the official England/GB Hockey ticket newsletter or follow @EnglandHockey and @GBHockey on social media. Priority access to tickets will be given to those who purchase for this summer’s Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London.