Danny Kerry urges calm ahead of Great Britain’s gold match against Holland

Great Britain were thrilled to beat New Zealand in the womens semi-final. Photo: PA

Great Britain were thrilled to beat New Zealand in the womens semi-final. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Great Britain head coach Danny Kerry is urging his team to stay calm ahead of this evening's women's hockey final against Holland.

The GB women are through to their first Olympic final – having won bronze medals in 1992 and 2012 – after reeling off seven successive victories at the Rio Games.

And while Holland will be exceptionally tough opponents, having claimed two Olympic titles in a row and not lost at a Games since Athens 12 years ago, Britain are ready to grasp the moment in Deodoro.

'I think we are very smart. We executed a game-plan against New Zealand under pressure, which is very important,' said Kerry, who was raised in west Norfolk and attended King Edward VII School in King's Lynn.

'We are also very robust. We have played seven games in 12 days, and we are about to play an eighth in 14.


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'We haven't had any injuries, just bashes, and to go through the rigours and deliver is impressive. We play with our heart and have a team culture in good times and bad.

'I am exceptionally proud to make history with this team. But we still have a job to do in the final.

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'I told them after the semi-final that we have one more, one more win to do. Keep your feet on the ground. Finish the job.'

Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh hopes her team can do for hockey what Sean Kerly and company did in Seoul 28 years ago when they go for Olympic gold tonight (9pm UK time).

Prolific goalscorer Kerly helped inspire Britain's men to the 1988 gold medal, blasting a hat-trick against semi-final opponents Australia before Imran Sherwani's double and another Kerly strike accounted for Germany 3-1 in the final.

'I remember my parents getting up to watch it (the 1988 final), but I was only eight – I was a little too young,' Richardson-Walsh said

'You saw what happened to hockey in the country after that – it really picked up. It picked up after London, too, and hopefully the same will happen again now.'

Richardson-Walsh, 36, has played 374 games for Great Britain and England, and she added: 'I am an old lady! But I would really like to go out on a bang, standing on the podium singing the national anthem – and be one of those people.

'I remember watching the Olympics when I was 12, seeing Sally Gunnell and the hockey ladies winning bronze in 1992.

'Holland are a very experienced side. They are the reigning Olympic champions, so the pressure is on them. We can just go out and play and do exactly what we have been doing.

'We keep saying we will treat any match here as if it was a training session at Bisham Abbey, and the final will be no different.'

Britain swept all before them in the pool stages, before knocking out quarter-final opponents Spain and then New Zealand in the last four.

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