Nice Britain’s girls should “create their very own legacy” by taking their final likelihood to safe a spot on the 2020 Olympics, says head coach Mark Hager.
The Olympic champions face world quantity 18 aspect Chile over two legs on consecutive days at Lee Valley in London this weekend.
Nice Britain’s males play Malaysia, with Olympic qualification additionally on the road.
“Individuals take a look at this workforce as if it is the workforce that gained in Rio and it is not,” Hager advised BBC Sport.
“There are solely seven of these girls nonetheless within the workforce.
“It is a new aspect and a brand new period they usually’ve bought to create their very own legacy going forwards.”
For each the ladies’s and males’s Olympic qualifying play-offs, the workforce with the best mixture rating throughout the 2 ties will qualify for Tokyo, whereas the loser will miss out.
Nice Britain’s girls have by no means beforehand confronted Chile – nicknamed Las Diablas – in a aggressive recreation.
Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, one of many members of that gold medal-winning aspect, stated she is relaxed concerning the problem regardless of going through unknown opponents and the excessive stakes of the two-match collection.
“When individuals use the language ‘do or die’ it sounds just like the world is ending, so after all it makes it a nervy event,” she stated.
“It is like going into an examination figuring out you’ve got accomplished all of your homework – you need to really feel prepared and that’ll do away with the worry. That is how we’ll method this weekend.
“We’d begin a bit nervy due to what’s on the road however as soon as we’re settled we should always begin connecting and exhibiting the progress we have made.”
Since profitable the Olympic title in 2016, Nice Britain have endured a tough transitional interval.
Excessive-profile gamers similar to Helen Richardson-Walsh, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Sophie Bray and Crista Cullen have retired, while Alex Danson, England and Nice Britain’s joint main scorer of all time has been out with a long-term head damage.
The workforce completed second backside within the inaugural FIH Professional League the place they gained solely three of their 16 matches outright.
They had been knocked out of the World Cup within the quarter finals by eventual winners the Netherlands and on the 2019 European Championships, the identical opponents ended their gold medal hopes with an 8-Zero thrashing within the semi-finals.
Hinch, who described that semi-final defeat because the worst second of her profession, says squad are solely trying to the longer term.
“There aren’t many gold medal winners left within the squad however we have tried to share what we skilled,” she stated.
“One of many major issues was telling them it wasn’t at all times a clean journey. We had our ups and downs and that is what this group has had. The down moments are essential so that you can study and mirror. Rio’s previously now. It is an entire new journey and complete new squad.
“Let’s get the job accomplished this weekend and see the place that leaves us.”
Pinner has ‘unfinished enterprise’ with Olympics
Males’s goalkeeper George Pinner, a veteran of just about 200 worldwide matches, stated he is aware of the strain of this weekend is immense.
“These are two of crucial matches I’ve ever performed in,” he stated.
“That is distinctive when it comes to turning up on Saturday and Sunday figuring out we both do the enterprise or we do not go to the Olympics.”
Nice Britain’s males went to Rio 2016 focusing on a medal however in a disappointing marketing campaign didn’t make it out of the group levels.
They’ve since modified coach, with Danny Kerry shifting over from the ladies’s workforce to switch the departing Bobby Crutchley.
Kerry’s aspect completed fourth within the FIH Professional League however had a disappointing match on the 2019 EuroHockey Championships, lacking out on a medal for the primary time in 12 years.
“The massive driver for me persevering with after Rio was to proper a couple of wrongs,” stated Pinner.
“Having stated that, this is not the be all and finish all. I would like this greater than something. I need to qualify. I need to be a part of that group for Tokyo. I need to win a medal.
“However you need to body it within the grand scheme of issues – the Olympics can’t turn out to be one thing you are so determined for that you just tighten up.”
At stake for each squads is not only a spot on the Olympics. Failure to qualify for one or each groups may have severe repercussions when it comes to the funding hockey receives from UK Sport.
For the Tokyo Olympic cycle, Nice Britain hockey has acquired round £17m. This enables the athletes to coach full time at Bisham Abbey as a part of a centralised programme. If qualification shouldn’t be secured, that cash and the athletes’ standing as full-time professionals could possibly be in severe jeopardy.
“We have been fairly open and frank about it,” captain Adam Dixon stated.
“We have deliberate for the worst case state of affairs however we realise we have to exit and quite than enjoying with worry, play with confidence and take it to Malaysia.”
Come Sunday night either side will both be starting preparations for Tokyo, or the inquest into what went improper.