Former Ipswich School duo in action for GB

Harry Martin and George Pinner targeting GB Hockey success in New Zealand

Britain begin their schedule on Saturday afternoon (New Zealand time) with a clash against Pakistan and follow that up a day later with a game against world champions, Australia on Sunday.

The Champions Trophy features seven of the eight best teams in the world and could give an indication as to who to watch out for at next year’s London Olympics.

For Martin, however, the 19-year-old is refusing to look too far ahead and his concentration will be focused on establishing himself as an integral part of the team.

“It is impossible not to think about the Olympics but I am just trying to take one tournament at a time and perform in each game that I play,” said Martin, speaking from his team’s base in Auckland.

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“It’s going really well for me and it has been nice training full time since September. Obviously, in the past year, I have been having to balance my hockey with school.

“Playing for Great Britain is a great feeling as was scoring my first goal, in the 3-1 defeat to Belgium, recently.”

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Martin and his team-mates must finish in the top two in their pool to qualify for the semi-finals while a top-five finish will see them automatically qualify for next year’s Trophy in Australia.

It will not be easy though with Asian Games champions Pakistan set to provide a stern test for head coach Jason Lee’s squad in their first game.

“The first game is against the Asian Games champions and then obviously there is Australia, who are world champions, and Spain, who are one ahead of us in the worth rankings, in fourth,” said Martin, who has six caps for Great Britain and eight for England.

“Then on the other side of the draw you have Germany and the Netherlands who are two and three in the world and Korea who are sixth, so it is going to be a really tough tournament.

“But since I have been training with the team, my fitness has really improved and I think we will be one of the best teams, in terms of fitness, in the tournament.

“We have definitely got a decent chance and we are confident we can win every game.”

Martin, who plays for Old Loughtonians in Division One of the England Hockey League, midfielder will be joined by goalkeeper Pinner, 24, and Martin revealed it was a privilege to represent Ipswich and Suffolk when they could.

“It is always nice when you get the chance to do that,” said Martin.

“Myself and George went to the same school. He is five-years older than me and I always remember him being the massive one in the team, but he is a really good goalkeeper and I am pleased for him as he has not been in the squad for a while.”

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