WALES International Julie Whiting is set make her Great Britain debut after receiving a call up for the GB Under-23 squad for the upcoming Futures 2020 Invitational Tournament against hockey power-nations Australia and The Netherlands.
The tournament takes place in Nottingham from Saturday (June 18) until Friday, June 24 and will be a showcase of some of the world’s top young hockey talent.
Julie, who is originally from Solihull, has 20 caps for Wales and will be the first Welsh player to represent Great Britain in two years.
The last player to do so being Liam Brignull for GB Under 23 in Malaysia in 2014.
A delighted Julie said: “It means so much to me to be making my first appearance for Great Britain.
“I have wanted to represent GB in hockey ever since I started and now it’s becoming a reality.
“After all the hard work, and the highs and lows along the way, it feels amazing to now be at this stage.”
For the past year Julie has been based in Lyon, France for her university degree (Cardiff & Met) and during her time there has played for Premier League side FC Lyon.
This coming season she will return to play for Swansea City Spartans, Wales’ leading performance club.
She added: “I feel that playing abroad has really helped my adaption to new structures and formations, as well as new styles of hockey.
The support from my French club has been amazing, both during training sessions and matches.
“I’d also like to thank my Wales coach, Kevin Johnson, for his support at both Wales and for GB.”
Last month Julie played a GB development series against the Senior Scottish Women, in which she scored in the opening match.
Her official selection for the Futures 2020 puts her among the top eighteen players aged under-23 in Great Britain, an impressive feat in the highly competitive development programme.
She added: “Now I’ve secured selection to play in the Futures 2020 tournament I’m just looking forward to get back onto the field. Walking out onto the pitch representing GB and Wales against Australia and the Netherlands is going to be an amazing experience and I can’t wait to begin!”
Wales Head Coach Kevin Johnson aims to see more Welsh players follow in Julie’s footsteps.
He said: “I am delighted at Julie’s inclusion in the GB u23 squad for their forthcoming tournament.
“It is part of our group aims to see more Welsh players transition into GB activity and we hope to see more of our players make this journey in the future.
“We wish her all the best and know that we will see the benefit of this experience when she returns to the Welsh squad.”