Six debutants named in Jason Lee's team for Melbourne
England Hockey Head Coach Jason Lee has named his squad for the forthcoming tour to Australia with six athletes set to make their international debuts. A further five players have fewer than ten caps each and will have the opportunity to impress the coaching and management team ahead of the next four year Olympic cycle to Rio 2016.
The three week trip will see England compete at the International Super Series Hockey 9s tournament in Perth before travelling to Melbourne for the Champions Trophy, the last event in the international calendar.
Of the 18 athletes selected, five were members of the Great Britain squad that finished fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the team’s highest placing at the Games since winning gold in 1988. Captain Barry Middleton will lead England with fellow Olympians Harry Martin of Beeston, Hampstead & Westminster’s Dan Fox and the Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles pair of Richard Smith and Nick Catlin all selected. Also included is goalkeeper George Pinner, who was a reserve for the Great Britain Olympic team.
The squad contains seven athletes from Men’s Hockey League leaders Beeston. In addition to Harry Martin and George Pinner, Adam Dixon, Simon Egerton, Ben Arnold, Michael Hoare and Ollie Willars have received call ups. East Grinstead’s international forward Mark Gleghorne will return from injury while Alastair Brogdon, another to have moved to Belgium this season, and Darren Cheesman, now at Reading, all make the trip.
Loughborough students pair Henry Weir and David Condon, Southgate’s Dan Shingles and Cannock’s 21 year old goalkeeper Patrick Smith make up the 18. For Condon, the trip will bring back memories of his senior international debut three years ago at the 2009 Champions Trophy in Melbourne.
Announcing the squad, Head Coach Lee said: “It’s a great opportunity for us to look at new players for the next Olympic cycle. Many of the players have been selected because of their performances for England A, England U21s and for their clubs. Some of the new players have also been working in the Single System National Performance Centres”.
“There are other England U21 players who have performed well this year, but they have not been considered for this trip if they are young enough to be involved in the build up for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, which is in Australia during January 2013.”
“Following a long and tough four year cycle, all of our Olympic athletes were given the choice as to whether to make themselves available for selection for the trip. For a variety of reasons, including work commitments and injuries, a number have opted not to take part.”
Speaking about the Champions Trophy, Lee added: “We expect to find the Champions Trophy as competitive as ever. We’ll be up against the Olympic Champions Germany in our second match and I would expect India to do better than they did at the Olympic Games. We know that the Dutch have already named a very strong side.”
The International Super Series Hockey 9s is a revised format of the game developed in Australia with the aim of encouraging an even more open, free scoring spectacle. Taking place from 22-25 November, England will compete in the series against hosts Australia, Pakistan and India. The revised format sees teams restricted to a maximum of nine players on the pitch at the one time with rules covering how many players may be in an area of the pitch at any given moment. Matches consist of two 20 minute halves and the goal is one metre wider than a regulation hockey goal.
Following the conclusion of the Super 9s tournament, England will compete in the Champions Trophy in Melbourne from 1-9 December. England’s Pool A opponents are Olympic Champions Germany, New Zealand and India. Hosts Australia, Olympic silver medallists the Netherlands, Belgium and Pakistan will contest Pool B.
ENGLAND MEN’S SQUAD FOR INTERNATIONAL SUPER SERIES HOCKEY 9S AND CHAMPIONS TROPHY, PERTH & MELBOURNE
Name (Club) [Position] England Caps/England Goals - GB Caps/GB Goals - Age
Ben Arnold (Beeston) [Forward] 0/0 - 0/0 - 22
Alastair Brogdon (Waterloo Ducks) (BEL) [Forward] 43/4 - 6/0 - 24
Nick Catlin (Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles) (BEL) [Forward] 45/3 - 29/3 - 23
Darren Cheesman (Reading) [Midfielder] 1/0 - 2/1 - 26
David Condon (Loughborough Students) [Midfielder] 4/0 - 0/0 - 21
Adam Dixon (Beeston) [Defender/Midfielder] 58/2 - 29/0 - 26
Simon Egerton (Beeston) [Forward] 8/1 - 0/0 - 27
Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster) [Defender] 23/0 - 26/1 - 29
Mark Gleghorne (East Grinstead) [Forward] 0/0 - 10/2 - 27
Michael Hoare (Beeston) [Defender] 0/0 - 0/0 - 26
Harry Martin (Beeston) [Midfielder] 8/0 - 34/3 - 20
Barry Middleton (c) (HGC) (NED) [Midfielder/Forward] 159/43 - 105/35 - 28
George Pinner (Beeston) [Goalkeeper] 6/0 - 4/0 - 25
Dan Shingles (Southgate) [Midfielder] 0/0 - 0/0 - 26
Patrick Smith (Cannock) [Goalkeeper] 0/0 - 0/0 - 21
Richard Smith (Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles) (BEL) [Defender] 64/7 - 29/5 - 25
Henry Weir (Loughborough Students) [Midfielder] 0/0 - 0/0 - 22
Ollie Willars (Beeston) [Defender] 0/0 - 0/0 - 22
Source: England Hockey