England and Great Britain Hockey are set to welcome back goalkeeper Maddie Hinch into the women’s central programme from early June.
Hinch, who grew up in Maidenhead, has been the FIH world goalkeeper of the year for the past three years and will be back in contention for Great Britain for the final FIH Pro League games of the season, against the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand.
Hinch has spent some extended time away since playing for England in last summer’s Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London and is raring to get back.
“After ten months away from the international game, I am absolutely delighted to be back with the Great Britain Hockey programme,” said Hinch.
“My time away has allowed me time to recharge, mentally and physically, and renew my ambitions in the game whilst continuing to play at the highest level of women’s club hockey over in the Netherlands.
"With that, I feel I’m in a great place to re-join the group and hope to be part of what is an incredibly important journey ahead.”
The 30-year-old played a crucial part in the GB women’s team’s first ever gold medal at the Rio Olympics, preventing the Netherlands from scoring any of their four shootouts. Along with the rest of the team she was then made an MBE for services to hockey.
Her earliest possible appearance could be the home game against Germany on Friday 7 June, followed by a match against Australia two days later on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.