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Lily Freeman









United Kingdom

athletic info


Southgate HC and Hampstead & Westminster Talent Academy



2nd position

Right Back








Duo Lingo

Preferred Major

Sport Science / Physiotherapy

Additional information

My hockey background

I started playing hockey when I was 9 years old at my local club Southgate. I immediately found a love for the game and enjoyed being a part of a team because I loved all of my teammates, my coaches, and everyone else at the club. 

A few years into my time playing hockey, I trialed for Hertfordshire County and after initially not getting into the squad, I took it to heart and was hesitant about going to the retrial. Luckily, I decided to give it a shot and go to the trial where I was told that the coaches had made a mistake and that I should be in the squad. A few weeks later, I was selected. I had a year of playing county hockey and at the end of the season, my coaches put me forward for a Performance Centre trial at Northwood. 

Being age-trapped, I went to the trials alone. The girls were at least a year older than me and had already been in the squad for a whole season which was very intimidating. I felt very out of my depth playing at a level a lot higher than I had ever played at with girls that I didn’t know but who already knew each other. Getting into the squad was a huge realisation for me as it was one of the first moments when I decided to take hockey seriously. We trained hard for a year and we went to the Challenge Cup where we became national winners along with the Northwood PC boys which was one of my first major achievements in hockey. However, when the list of girls selected for England trials was posted, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that my name wasn’t on there. I wanted a chance to prove myself. 

The following year, Talent Academies were introduced by England Hockey which was great as it gave me a chance to meet some new coaches who were so influential to my development. Once again, after a hard year of training, we went to the TA festival in Nottingham. After winning two games and losing our last, I felt content with my performance and proud of how I had played. A few weeks later, the list of girls called up for the England U18 trials was posted; I was on it. I was so happy but very nervous, knowing that it would be a completely different level to anything I could comprehend. 

After three months of trials, I was selected for the England U17 Development squad. I also received some great feedback from the coaches that I took to my club, particularly in my Women's training. A few weeks later, I was called up to the W1s where I have been playing in the Vitality Women's Division 1 South for the past month. 

I began to play hockey as a midfielder but one of my coaches put me into centre-back for the rest of the season. Initially, I didn’t like it as it gave me limited chances to go forward. However, after a few seasons, I began to notice that I was playing to my strengths. I have always been a strong player, not easily pushed off the ball and being able to move the ball at a fast pace. Another strength of mine is 1v1s, especially zone 4 defending and blocking shots as I have never been afraid of stepping in front. As well as the physical side of playing, I have always had a great mindset in the game, dealing with pressure well and always trying to see the positive side of things, which led to me being a good leader, particularly in the 2022/2023 season where I was the captain of the U16 Girls when we won the National Tier 2 Plate.

Why I want to play college field hockey in the USA

I think that playing hockey in the USA would be a great opportunity. It’s a chance to see a new country, particularly one that I have always wanted to go to and experience a different culture. In particular, I would love to be in a university inside or near a large city. Growing up in London, I have always been used to and enjoyed being a part of a large community, and I love the busyness of a city and all that it offers: food, shops, theatres, etc. It also presents a chance to do something completely out of my comfort zone which will allow me to work on improving myself and my resilience to facing challenges.

Also, the facilities in the USA appear to be amazing and they seem to invest a lot of time and energy into college sports. I love that it plays such a huge part in life as a student in the USA. Playing with people all around the world and learning different styles of play sounds so exciting and promising in improving my game which would hopefully allow me to play in the Premier League if I returned to England after my education or at a high level elsewhere.

I have also always valued the friendships I have made in all the hockey teams that I have played in as I think it is very special bonding over something you all want to excel and improve in, and I know that going to the USA is a great chance to develop new friendships. With that in mind, I also know that they strive for excellence in education as well as I would love to do a degree that opens doors for me in the future and pushes me to be the best that I can be. Additionally, I would love to work in the sporting industry and there appear to be a lot more opportunities in the USA which I find very exciting.