100 caps for ‘proud’ England hockey ace Nicola White

NICOLA WHITE described it as an “immensely proud moment” when she won her 100th England hockey cap.

Nicola receives a guard of honour from her team mates as she went on to the pitch to win her 100th cap

The 29-year-old former Saddleworth Hockey Club player reached the landmark during the World League semi final in South Africa.

Nicola, who was awarded a commemorative cap to mark the achievement, said: “When I started playing hockey I never imagined winning one cap, never mind 100.

“It is brilliant to reach that milestone and I enjoyed the moment, especially as we beat Poland 3-0.

“And it made me look back on the journey and what I have achieved, including two Olympic Games.”

While Nicola has won 100 England caps, she is also closing in on 200 international appearances – she is 10 short – after playing 84 games for Great Britain.

Nicola was happy with how he new-look England team – a sizeable number of the Rio team are no longer playing international hockey – performed to finish third.

They needed to finish in the top four to qualify for December’s World League final in New Zealand and for the 2018 World Cup that is being held in London so accomplished those objectives.

Nicola said: “It was the first major tournament of the new cycle leading up to the Tokyo Olympics.

“I was pleased how it went and to finish third was respectable.”

The special cap Nicola was awarded

England lost to the United States in the semi finals following a shootout, but beat Argentina 5-2 in the third/fourth place play off.

There has been no let up as this month England defend their European championship title in Holland where they have been grouped with Scotland, Ireland and Germany.

She says it is a tough group, even though Scotland and Ireland are not at the top of the world rankings.

“Sometimes it is harder in these games than against the bigger countries as there is a lot of emotion in

them,” she explained.

Nicola says Holland will be fired up to avenge defeat by England in the last Euro final and by Great Britain in the Olympic final.

“Some of our players are with Dutch clubs and they have told us how Holland are on a mission. I am sure we would be the same if we were in their position, though we want another European gold,” she said.

 

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