Olympic champions name youthful group for Melbourne event
Olympic Champions Germany and Asian giants Pakistan have both confirmed the teams that they will be sending to the men’s Champions Trophy, which takes place in the Australian city of Melbourne from 1-9 December 2012. With the start of a new Olympic cycle very much in mind, the coaches of both nations have taken the opportunity to blood exciting new talent in the world’s toughest annual international hockey competition.
Germany coach Markus Weise has opted to rest many of the players that won the Olympic Gold medal at London 2012, with his squad containing four debutants and six other players who have played fewer than ten international matches for the senior side. Moritz Polk, Jan Christopher Rühr, Patrick Schmidt and goalkeeper Felix Reuss are all newcomers to the senior international side, while Mats Grambusch, Niklas Grell, Patrick Hablawetz, Tom Mieling, Marco Miltkau and Jonas Swiatek have a total of just 27 caps between them. However, there are still a number of established world class players in the ranks including Oskar Deecke, Oliver Korn, shot-stopper Nico Jacobi and powerhouse midfielder Moritz Fürste. The full squad can be found below.
Germany Squad for Champions Trophy
Nico Jacobi (GK), Felix Reuß (GK), Oskar Deecke, Benedikt Fürk, Moritz Fürste, Matts Grambusch, Niklas Grell, Patrick Hablawetz, Oliver Korn, Tobias Lietz, Tobias Matania, Tom Mieling, Marco Miltkau, Moritz Polk, Jan Christopher Rühr, Patrick Schmidt, Jonas Swiatek and Florian Woesch.
Like Germany, Pakistan have also selected a number of players lacking in international experience, but a few seasoned heads are amongst the group. Defender Muhammad Imran will captain the team, with striker Muhammad Waqas taking the role of vice captain. Despite various reports the he had retired immediately after the completion of the London 2012 Olympic Games, veteran midfielder Waseem Ahmad has also been selected by team coach Akhtar Rasool. Defender Mohammed Ateeq and forward Mohammed Kashif are amongst the rookies selected in a team that is very much looking to the future. The full Pakistan squad can be found below.
Pakistan Squad for Champions Trophy
Imran Shah (GK), Imran Butt (GK), Muhammad Imran (Capt), Muhammad Ateeq, Syed Kashif Shah, Waseem Ahmad, Muhammad Tousiq, Fareed Ahmed, Rashid Mahmood, Muhammad Rizwan Junior, Muhammad Waqas (Vice-Capt), Shafqat Rasool, M. Umar Bhutta, Abdul Haseem Khan, Shakeel Abbasi, Muhammad Kashif Ali, Muhammad Rizwan Senior and Ali Shan.
To see the other squads, please click on the links below
In other Champions Trophy news, it has been reported that penalty corner specialist Mink van der Weerden has been forced to withdraw from the Netherlands squad due to injury. The defender, who was the top scorer at the London 2012 Olympic Games with eight goals, will be replaced by HC Bloemendaal’s Glenn Schuurman, a youth international who represented the Dutch Under 21 team at the Junior European Championships in the summer.