England name Women's U21 Squad for Junior World Cup

Credit: England Hockey

England name Women's U21 Squad for Junior World Cup

England’s squad for the Junior Women’s World Cup, taking place in South Africa between 5-16 December, has been announced.

Four players capped at senior international level have been included, with Olympic bronze medallists Fiona Crackles and Izzy Petter in the squad alongside Alex Malzer, who played twice for Great Britain in 2019, and Sophie Hamilton, who featured in four matches for Great Britain in late 2020.

Sophie’s twin sister Olivia will captain England at the tournament, where she will be joined by fellow Loughborough Students defender Lorna Mackenzie.

Mackenzie is one of five players who helped the country qualify for this event back at the 2019 Junior EuroHockey Championships, with Team Bath Buccs forward Vicki McCabe another.

Alongside Sophie Hamilton, Darcy Bourne is one of two Surbiton players selected while East Grinstead also have two representatives in goalkeeper Mila Welch and Malzer.

Both the University of Birmingham and the University of Nottingham have three athletes in the squad, with those from the former being Millie Giglio, Evie Wood and Lily Walker. Maddie Axford – currently the top goalscorer across the Vitality Women’s Hockey Leagues with 11 goals – has been pivotal to Nottingham’s fine start to the season in the Vitality Women’s Division One North and is joined by Sally Sime and Katie Curtis.

The University of Exeter also boast two players in Ella Burnley and Martha Taylor while Georgie Gardens – who plays for Harleston Magpies and Framlingham College – is the youngest athlete selected. Millie Atwell and Claudia Swain will be the travelling reserves.

England have been drawn in Group B of the tournament in Potchefstroom alongside Belgium – who they drew with at the Junior Europeans two years ago – as well as Canada and Uruguay, who finished first and second respectively in the Junior Pan Am Championships earlier this year.

The squad will be coached by Great Britain Elite Development Programme (EDP) head coach Simon Letchford.

After finishing seventh at the last edition in 2016, this group will be hoping to improve on that and claim a maiden podium placing this time round after narrowly missing out in fourth in 2009 and 2013.


Maddie Axford - University of Nottingham
Darcy Bourne - Surbiton/Duke University
Ella Burnley - University of Exeter
Fiona Crackles - Wimbledon
Katie Curtis - University of Nottingham
Millie Giglio - University of Birmingham
Olivia Hamilton - Loughborough Students
Sophie Hamilton - Surbiton/UCONN
Georgie Gardens - Harleston Magpies/Framlingham College
Lorna Mackenzie - Loughborough Students
Alexandra Malzer - East Grinstead
Vicki McCabe - Team Bath Buccs/Bath University
Izzy Petter - Loughborough Students
Sally Sime - University of Nottingham
Martha Taylor - University of Exeter
Lily Walker - University of Birmingham
Mila Welch (GK) - East Grinstead
Evie Wood (GK) - University of Birmingham
Travelling reserves

Millie Attwell - University of Birmingham
Claudia Swan - Repton/Repton School


Belgium v England (Pool B) - 5 December 2021, 13:00 GMT
England v Canada (Pool B) - 6 December 2021, 15:00 GMT
England v Uruguay (Pool B) - 8 December 2021, 13:30 GMT
Quarter-Finals - 12 December 2021
Semi-Finals - 14 December 2021
Final - 16 December 2021