Hockey duo called up to England squad

Di Levitt (red shirt) in action for Bridlington last weekend.
Di Levitt (red shirt) in action for Bridlington last weekend.

Two Bridlington Hockey Club stalwarts have earned call-ups to England Masters squads in World Cup year.

Free-scoring Di Levitt has again been selected for the national over 55s group, while her team-mate Anne Hunter has been chosen for the new over 60s team.

After impressing at trials in Cannock in Staffordshire late last year, the pair now have their eyes on a place at the World Cup in Rotterdam in Holland in June.

Levitt, who is deputy headteacher at Martongate School in Bridlington, managed to force her way into the squad despite suffering a fractured eye socket after being hit by a hockey ball just weeks before the trials

She said: “This is the seventh year I have been selected and the over 55 squad we have this year is of a very high standard.

“In the previous six years I have played 57 games and scored a total of 76 goals.

“I am now back playing after my fractured eye socket. My second trial was three weeks after I sustained the injury.

“I must admit I was a little apprehensive but then there was a lot at stake so you just have to get on with it.”

The possible games available this year for the over 55s start with a trip to Guernsey in early April.

A series of friendlies against Australia are planned in Aldershot over three days in May, before the World Cup kicks off in Holland.

That is followed by the Home Internationals at Swansea at the end of June and friendlies against Holland and Wales in July.

Centre back Hunter, who is also a teacher, at Hornsea School, begins her international experience in France.

“It is a new team, and they will be taking a combination of over 55s and over 60s to Lille in March, so I am booked in for that.

“Two years ago, I was in the over 55s squad but the game I was due to play in was called off, so I haven’t struck a ball in anger in an England shirt.

“When the email arrived, it was quite exciting and I am really looking forward to it.

“There are a lot of teams down south and I have played at North of England championships, so the over 60 level standard is very good.”

The second FIH Masters World Cup in June is expected to feature 70 national teams at a variety of age groups and more than 1,000 players.

But before then, both players will be involved in the popular annual Easter Hockey Festival in Bridlington, which this year will feature new teams from Leicestershire and Bradford.

They are both regulars in the Bridlington 1sts team which is currently sitting in a promotion spot in Yorkshire League Division Two and are working to promote hockey locally.

“We are always trying to get new players and, although the junior section is doing well, we desperately need more women,” said Hunter.

“Age is no barrier, I am the proof of that.”