Published: 00:00, 17 July 2020
| Updated: 10:21, 17 July 2020
Holcombe new’s signing has received his first call-up to the senior men’s GB squad.
Twenty-one-year-old goalkeeper Ollie Payne has just joined the Rochester side after helping Durham University win promotion to the National Premier League last season.
He’s the latest player to have graduated from the GB Elite Development Programme and played a crucial role as England’s under-21 claimed a silver medal at last year’s Junior EuroHockey Championships.
Payne has enjoyed much success recently and won the 2018 and 2019 Sultan of Johor Cup with Great Britain under-21s and was named goalkeeper of the tournament on both occasions.
There could be plenty of action ahead soon, including the conclusion of the delayed 2020 FIH Pro League season, a EuroHockey Championship and then the Olympics.
“I feel very happy to be selected and called into the squad,” he said.
“It's good fun. Obviously it’s the highest standard you can get in this country so it’s very challenging but it’s very fun trying to see if you can get up to that standard.
“In the short term I just want to get involved in the programme and get up to the level and pace of the game. Then hopefully I can make my debut at some point with the Olympics in mind.
“In the medium and long term, the home Commonwealth Games is something that’s a really big target for a me in a couple of years and then hopefully the Olympic Games after that.”
GB men’s head coach Danny Kerry said: “I’m delighted Ollie has been able to take up a place with the squad. He has been in our thinking and planning for some time and we are delighted that he is able to join the programme following on from his studies at Durham University."
Holcombe assistant coach Barry Middleton said of their new recruit: “He is an exciting young player with a great work ethic and fits the profile of the squad as we look to build for the future and break back into the play-off positions.”
Great Britain’s men and women are taking part in a phased Return To Training programme as they prepare for the potential return of the FIH Hockey Pro League later this year.
After the league was suspended in March a new fixture list was released last week that sees both teams travel to The Netherlands and Belgium in late October/early November.