England newcomer Phil Roper takes part in a training match against Scotland in April 2013
England newcomer Phil Roper takes part in a training match against Scotland in April 2013
(Photo: Ady Kerry / England Hockey)

Ahead of the World League Semi Final in Johor, Malaysia, England Men’s Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named a squad of 20 athletes who will fly out to Malaysia next month to prepare for the new FIH competition. The final 18 man squad will be announced closer to the event which runs from 29 June – 7 July.

The line-up sees six London 2012 Olympians returning to action, plus several other athletes who bring a wealth of experience to the squad. Alongside them, Crutchley has also named a number of less experienced athletes, three of whom will be looking to secure international debuts.

 Back from a season playing for Dutch side HGC, England Captain Barry Middleton is ready for the new challenge ahead, “I am really looking forward to the tournament as it gives the squad a good chance to see where we stand right now in World Hockey.  We have a new group with a good mix of youth and experience and there’s a real desire to get out there and challenge ourselves against the best sides in the world. It’s exciting to see the young talent we have coming through our development pathways.”

 Alongside Middleton, Olympians Nick Catlin (Reading), Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster), Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead), Harry Martin (Beeston) and Richard Smith (Royal Racing Club Brussels) have all been named in the squad, which will face some strong opposition out in Malaysia.

England (FIH #4) have been drawn in Pool B and will face South Africa (FIH #12), Pakistan (FIH #5) and Malaysia (FIH #13) in the group phase of the tournament. South Africa and Pakistan are no strangers to the six London Olympians as they faced them last Summer in the group stages under the guise of Great Britain.

The results from those fixtures saw a dominant 4-1 win over Pakistan and a 2-2 draw with the team ranked twelfth in the world. Ashley Jackson will look to continue some of the same form he showed in those games, contributing four out of the six goals for Great Britain. England’s other opponents, Malaysia, will be on home turf and have enjoyed some good results against some of the best sides in the world, including a 3-3 draw with Great Britain at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup last May.

In the other Pool, Olympic Champions Germany (FIH #1) will face Korea (FIH #8), Argentina (FIH #10) and one additional team that will be named at the end of this week following the completion of the final World League Round 2 tournament in Russia.

Speaking about the selected squad and the tournament ahead, England Head Coach, Bobby Crutchley said, “We know this will be a tough environment to jump into, but it’s a challenge we’re relishing and we have some good young players coming into the team. We travel to Belgium and Germany over the next couple of weeks to play some practice matches so it will be great to gauge where we stand against two very good sides. The less experienced athletes are making progress in training, so it will be great to play these five matches before we head out to Malaysia.”

Two Olympians currently missing from the line-up are Rob Moore and Iain Lewers. Iain Lewers continues to be monitored as he recovers from surgery on his knee earlier this year. Rob Moore currently has work commitments and therefore will not make the trip to Malaysia.

England’s first game is against South Africa and will take place on Saturday 29 June at 13:00 (UK time). There will be live streaming of all the matches from the FIH website. Further information will be released closer to the tournament.

One week earlier England’s Women will be playing in the Investec World League Semi Final on home turf in London from 22-30 June 2013. Click here for more information about the event.

 

England Men’s Squad for the World League Semi Final (20 athletes have been named, this number will be reduced to the final 18 closer to the tournament).

Name                      Current Club                            Position  

Ben Arnold              Beeston                                      Forward

James Bailey           Reading                                      Goalkeeper

Tom Carson             Reading                                      Forward

Nick Catlin                Reading                                      Midfielder/Forward  

Darren Cheesman   Reading                                      Forward 

David Condon          Loughborough Students            Midfielder

Adam Dixon             Beeston                                     Midfielder/Defender

Dan Fox                   Hampstead and Westminster     Defender

Mark Gleghorne       East Grinstead                           Forward

Michael Hoare          Beeston                                     Defender 

Ashley Jackson       East Grinstead                          Midfielder 

Simon Mantell           Reading                                    Forward 

Harry Martin             Beeston                                    Midfielder

Barry Middleton        Holcombe                                 Midfielder/Forward

George Pinner          Beeston                                    Goalkeeper 

Phil Roper                 Sheffield Hallam                        Forward

Dan Shingles            Southgate                                 Midfielder

Richard Smith           Racing Club Brussels               Defender

Henry Weir               Loughborough Students          Midfielder/Defender

Oliver Willars            Beeston                                    Defender

 

Source: England Hockey