Hockey sensation Hannah Martin never thought she would have the chance to represent her country, let alone line up on the same pitch as her own brother.
The former Ipswich School student, who made her international debut in February 2017, will represent Great Britain at Twickenham Stoop less than three hours after her brother Harry when the British men’s and women’s teams face New Zealand in a double header on the final day of the new FIH Pro League tournament on Sunday 23 June.
Hockey clearly runs in the family with Harry representing Great Britain at London 2012 and Rio 2016 and Hannah, who has always been proud to follow his footsteps, cannot wait for them to share the same turf at the home of Harlequins later this month.
“It’s such a special occasion for me and my family,” she said.
“I’ve always looked up to my brother growing up. He’s always been my idol, so I feel so lucky to be playing alongside him at the top level.
“I never thought we would be playing one after another at a venue like the Stoop. It was just a dream for us when we were younger, but we are so fortunate to share a job daily.
“He’s been in the programme for eight or nine years, so I always look to him when I need guidance and it’s just so great to have him around.
“We watch each other’s games and often share advice between us. It’s so nice having him for support, it’s a really special time for us both.”
Despite sitting third from bottom in the standings, Great Britain women’s hockey only lost one of their first four FIH Pro League home games this season – 3-1 to United States in March.
A record number of tickets have already been sold for the 14,800-capacity stadium at the Stoop – although seats are still available – meaning it would be the biggest crowd to watch hockey in Britain since the London 2012 Olympics.
And while Hannah believes playing in front of a capacity crowd of almost 15,000 will help to inspire her side to another success on home soil, she is also confident the double header event will prove a triumph for the growth of the sport.
“I’m really looking forward to taking on New Zealand. We played out our first Pro League fixture out there against them and lost so we are determined to improve on the away result,” she added.
“A home crowd is so important. It can be key in avoiding defeat on home soil.
“There’s nothing like playing at home. You just hear a roar of noise every time you go and attack – it really adds that twelfth player on the pitch. You just feel invincible.
“It’s great to play back-to-back because you get the crowds down for both games and hopefully that will create a real buzz at the Stoop.
“Hopefully staging the match at the Stoop will help attract more people from this side of London over to hockey.”
Great Britain Men and Women face New Zealand in a unique FIH Pro League double-header at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday, 23 June. Tickets still available at https://hockey.seetickets.com