The England Hockey men’s squad for the FIH Indoor World Cup has been announced ahead of the tournament in Poznan next month.
The six day tournament, which runs from 8-13 February in Poland, will be England’s first Indoor World Cup. England qualified for the tournament after winning Europe’s second tier competition, the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Trophy, in Poznan last January, sealing promotion to the European top flight for 2012 in the process.
Among the 12 man squad are four players who have yet to win indoor caps for England, but who are highly experienced outdoor players. Captain Barry Middleton, Surbiton’s James Tindall, Reading’s Simon Mantell and Wimbledon’s Rob Moore have more than 600 outdoor international appearances between them but have yet to feature for England in a major indoor tournament. All four played for England in their World Cup warm-up at the invitational Leipzig Messestadt Cup at the weekend and have been called up by indoor Head Coach Andy Halliday following several months of training camps.
England faces stiff competition in Poznan having been drawn in Pool B alongside Austria, the Czech Republic, Iran, Russia and the USA. Four years ago in Vienna, the Czech Republic, Russia and Austria finished fourth, fifth and sixth respectively in the 12 team tournament. Germany, in Pool A with Australia, Canada, Namibia, the Netherlands and hosts Poland, is the only team to have won the Indoor World Cup, having lifted the trophy in 2003 and 2007.
Eight of the 12 players selected are likely to be on show at Wembley Arena this Sunday as the domestic indoor season comes to its exciting conclusion at the super sixes National Indoor Hockey Finals. With East Grinstead, Reading and Beeston through to the super sixes semi finals along with Old Loughtonians, goalkeepers Nick Brothers and George Pinner and outfield players Richard Mantell, Richard Springham, Glenn Kirkham, Iain Mackay, Barry Middleton and Simon Mantell are set for a rousing send-off ahead of their departure for Poznan next week.
Speaking as he announced his squad, Andy Halliday said: “There is no doubt that our first trip to the Indoor World Cup will be a very tough challenge. We don't have a great deal of indoor experience, but our outdoor hockey ability will increase our chances of success.
“We have a group of players that will be well organised in defence, but which also has the ability to create plenty of scoring opportunities at the other end.”
East Grinstead midfielder Ashley Jackson misses out on the tournament with a pelvic injury. Commenting on Jackson’s absence, Halliday said: “We are obviously very disappointed that Ashley Jackson will miss the World Cup. His enthusiasm and suitability to the indoor game make him a significant cog in any international team but it is more important that he recovers properly from his injury.”
With England Hockey using the indoor version of the sport to further develop athletes for the outdoor game, Halliday added: “With the London Olympics only 18 months away, this is another opportunity to experience high calibre competition in pressurised surroundings. I have no doubt that we will all benefit from the experience.”
England Hockey Men’s Squad for the 2011 FIH Indoor World Cup
Name (Club) [Position] Indoor Caps/Goals Age
Nick Brothers (Reading) [GK] 16/0 27
George Pinner (Beeston) [GK] 2/0 24
Richard Alexander (Surbiton) [Def/Mid/Fwd] 12/6 29
Richard Mantell (Reading) [Def] 12/3 29
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) [Def] 20/15 23
Richard Springham (Reading) [Def] 9/3 25
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) [Mid] 9/1 28
Iain Mackay (Reading) [Mid/Fwd] 4/1 25
Barry Middleton (East Grinstead) [Mid/Fwd] 0/0v27
Rob Moore (Wimbledon) [Mid/Fwd] 0/0 29
Simon Mantell (Reading) [Fwd] 0/0 26
James Tindall (Surbiton) [Fwd] 0/0 27
FIH Men’s Indoor World Cup 2011
England's Fixtures, Poznan, 8-13 February 2011
Tuesday 8 February - 16:15 local time, 15:15 GMT - Czech Republic v England
Wednesday 9 February - 11:15 local time, 10:15 GMT - Russia v England
Wednesday 9 February - 16:15 local time, 15:15 GMT - England v USA
Thursday 10 February - 13:45 local time, 12:45 GMT - England v Iran
Friday 11 February - 13:45 local time, 12:45 GMT - Austria v England
Saturday 12 February - crossover classification matches and semi finals
Sunday 13 February - medal matches subject to qualification
Source: England Hockey
More information about the FIH Indoor World Cup can be found at the tournament microsite - http://www.poznan2011.sportcentric.com/
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