READING hockey star Amy Tennant has a big act to follow, writes Dave Wright.

She is one of two players in the Great Britain squad who have been given the task of replacing Maddie Hinch, rated the world's No. 1 female keeper.

But it's a challenge she is immensely looking forward to as she prepares to make her debut next week in the Champions Trophy being staged in China.

Tennant, who has 11 England caps to her credit, will share the keeper's duties with Sabbie Heesh from league champions Surbiton.

"I think we will be sharing the games, like half each, so giving the coaching team the chance to see us play in tournament games," said the 24-year-old, who won a bronze medal with England in the Commonwealth Games last April when she was number two to Hinch.

Tennant says she has learned a lot from training and watching Hinch play in the last two years, adding: "I have been very lucky to train alongside her for two years or so and it has a good motivator to try and strive to be as good as her. Obviously, we have learned a lot from her and now Sabbie and I have the chance to try to implement myself."

The former Bowdon Hightown and East Grinstead player raised a few eyebrows when joining Reading last summer as it meant her dropping down from the Premier Division to Conference West.

"I did speak to Danny (England coach Kerry) about it, but he didn't think it was a problem and suggested I even trained with a Reading men's side to keep me sharp in addition to the four days a week I train at Bisham," she said.

"For me, I wanted to be at a club where I could enjoy my hockey. Also, one which has a good social side adds value to a club which not necessarily plays in the top league. Reading is a really nice club."

GB's opening match in Changzhou is against the host country on Saturday, November 17, followed by Australia a day later, then Japan on November 20, the Netherlands two days later and Argentina on November 24.

Last Saturday, Tennant helped Reading to earn a 2-2 draw at second-placed Olton & West Warwicks.

They led at half-time thanks to a Jo Ellis penalty-corner goal after 32 minutes. Harriet Payne equalised on 52 minutes and three minutes later Sally Walton put her unbeaten side ahead, both goals coming from penalty corners.

Player-coach Ellis scored from open play just after the hour mark to earn her side a deserved point.

During the game, teenager Jess Minshull-Beech hurt her neck and back when a player fell on top of her and they had to call an ambulance, but an X-ray later revealed no serious damage. Another casualty was skipper Esme Swindells, who was hit in the neck by a ball and was struggling to breathe, and she was checked over by paramedics who were still at the game.

Blues move up to seventh in the table ahead of their trip to Exeter this Saturday (noon) to face Isca, the side immediately above them.

Reading men became the first side to fail to score against winless Sevenoaks this season when drawing 0-0 in Saturday's away game. They had their chances to win, but the Kent side managed to hold out and secure only their second point.

Blues, who remain sixth in the Premier Division standings, are back on the road this Sunday (2pm) when they travel to Nottingham to face Beeston.