Eight-time European Cross Country Championships medallist to lead the Great Britain squad in Tilburg

Kate Avery has described her return to the Great Britain squad as a “phenomenal feeling”, adding that being named team captain for the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg this weekend makes it “even sweeter”.

An eight-time Euro Cross medallist, Avery claimed senior individual silver two years in a row – in 2014 and 2015 – and will be hoping to help her team to further success on Sunday.

“I’m delighted to be named as the British team captain for the European Cross Country Championships,” said the 27-year-old.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling to be back in a British vest and to be named team captain alongside this makes it even sweeter.”

Since winning the second of her two European Cross silver medals, Avery has suffered with injuries including stress fractures, but she has shown fine form this winter and sits top of the Cross Challenge standings after three races, including a win in Milton Keynes.

Avery earned her first medal for the British team in 2009 in Dublin, claiming individual bronze and team silver as a junior, and also has three team golds to her name, achieved in Belgrade, Samakov and Hyeres in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

“The event is one where Great Britain & Northern Ireland have enjoyed a great deal of success in the past and hopefully we’ll be able to continue that this weekend,” Avery added.

“We have such a strong group of athletes from under-20 level through to the seniors that will challenging for medals and fighting for every place and I’m sure everyone will give it their all on Sunday.”

Team leader Rob Denmark said: “We are delighted to be able to name Kate as our captain for the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday.

“Kate is someone who has won multiple medals at these championships in the past and after such a strong cross country season in 2018, this is a great honour for her.

“We want to once again be top of the medal table at the championships and the experience that Kate has will prove key in helping us to achieve this aim.”

» Our online guide to the European Cross Country Championships, including ones to watch, a timetable and TV info, can be found here, while the December 6 edition of AW includes an in-depth four-page preview