London 2012: Ashleigh Ball relief at Great Britain hockey call-up

Ashleigh Ball has admitted it was a relief to be named in the Great Britain hockey squad for the Olympics.

The Brighton-born midfielder, who lives in Cheltenham, was among the 16-strong team announced on Friday.

The 26-year-old told BBC South East Today: "It's an incredible feeling of pride. I'm very relieved and ecstatic that I saw my name on the list.

"But while you're looking for your own name, there are players who weren't selected so there were mixed emotions."

She added: "Every single player in the squad of 29 has put everything into this programme for a long time and some have narrowly missed out.

"We've had some really great experiences in the last few years, progressed through the rankings and won medals on the way.

"The selection is just a moment in the run-up, it's not where it ends.

"The squad isn't here to play in the Olympics, it's here to win a gold at the Olympics."

One of those not included in the squad is Canterbury's Natalie Seymour, but the 25-year-old says she still has a part to play after being named as one of two reserves.

"At first I was devastated but right now I feel really focused on the important role I've got to play," she explained.

"I'm a crucial part of this squad and I'm behind the 16."

Having taken silver at the Champions Trophy earlier this year and won the Olympic test event earlier this month, Seymour says the side is in buoyant mood.

She added: "They are going there to win medals. Everyone is still aspiring to win and it's a fantastic thing to be a part of.

"I back every single person to show what the programme is about. It's a whole squad effort."

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