Following a successful three match test series against India at the University of Birmingham, which concluded on Sunday, the England men’s hockey squad for the forthcoming EuroHockey Nations Championships has been announced.
As he has done throughout the summer, Head Coach Jason Lee has opted for a mix of youth and experience as he looks to secure the valuable top four place that would guarantee automatic qualification for the 2010 World Cup in New Delhi next March.
Four members of the 18 man squad made their debuts in the past three months but their inexperience at the very top level is countered by the inclusion of 12 members of the Great Britain squad that finished fifth at last summer’s Beijing Olympic Games.
Richard Smith, Adam Dixon and Iain Mackay all made their senior England debuts against Germany in May this year while Alastair Brogdon made his first appearance a month later, in June, against Australia in Nottingham.
Richard Mantell, Ben Hawes, Ali Wilson, Richard Alexander, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham, Barry Middleton, Rob Moore, Jonty Clarke, Matt Daly, Simon Mantell and James Tindall all played for Lee in China 12 months ago and Clarke, Hawes, Kirkham and Moore find themselves in with a chance of achieving a century of senior England appearances at the Amsterdam tournament, which gets underway on Saturday 22 August. Barry Middleton will captain the side.
Speaking about his selection, Jason Lee said, “Perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the English members of the 2008 Olympic squad who haven’t retired have been picked but the competition was tight between them and the new player group, which is pleasing for the future and gives us a depth of squad that we haven’t previously had in my time as coach. The newly selected players have thoroughly deserved their places and we are all hopeful that they will be able to maintain their standards under the pressure of the European Championships.”
England open their EuroHockey Nations Championships campaign against Austria on Sunday 23 August before facing the Olympic Champions, Germany, the following day. The pool phase concludes on Wednesday 26 August with England taking on Belgium in the knowledge that a top two finish in the group will not only secure progress to the European semi finals but also a place in New Delhi next March.
Team England: James Fair, Nick Brothers, Ben Hawes, Richard Mantell, Richard Smith, Ali Wilson, Adam Dixon, Richard Alexander, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham, Iain Mackay, Barry Middleton, Rob Moore, Alastair, Jonty Clarke, Matt Daly, Simon Mantell, James Tindall.
Source: England Hockey
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