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Daly returns from injury, Lewers from international exile for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

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The Great Britain men’s hockey squad has been announced ahead of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, includes former Irish international Iain Lewers and Surbiton’s Matt Daly, returning from injury.

[img_assist|nid=1936|title=|desc=Former Irish International Iain Lewers, pictured in his HGC club days in Holland, is set to win his first GB cap|link=node|align=left|width=274|height=171]The 18-athlete squad also contains 14 players who played for their home nations at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi – 12 from England and two from Scotland.

The tournament, which runs from May 5-15, features seven of the world’s top hockey playing nations and will see a British side compete for the first time in a decade. Competing against Great Britain will be World and Commonwealth champions Australia, Commonwealth silver medallists India, and New Zealand, the Commonwealth Games bronze medal winners.  Also taking part are Asian Games Champions Pakistan, hosts Malaysia and Korea.

After battling back from injury, 27-year-old Daly is in line for his first international appearance since winning the European Championship with England in August 2009. A torn hamstring and quad sustained in October 2009 meant Daly missed the 2010 World Cup and his return was further delayed when in June 2010 he underwent surgery to reconstruct his anterior cruciate ligament, ruling him out of the Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games.

Loughborough Students’ Iain Lewers should make his Great Britain debut in Malaysia. The 27-year-old, who was born in Northern Ireland, has been training with the Great Britain team having made himself eligible for selection. Lewers withdrew from the Irish international side in 2008 but has now qualified for Great Britain.

Announcing the squad, head coach Jason Lee said: “We would not normally be able to attend a high calibre international tournament as Great Britain this early in an Olympic cycle so competing in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup is a unique opportunity for us. We will be including Iain Lewers for the first time and welcoming back Scotland’s Stephen Dick and Niall Stott in a GB shirt as well as Matt Daly.

“We are leaving the UK only days before the start of the tournament, so I’m sure the high heat and humidity of Malaysia will be a true test of the team’s quality and fighting spirit, things we will need in abundance come London 2012.”

The 2011 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be the first at which Great Britain has competed, although England has taken part on five previous occasions, winning the Cup in 1994. The tournament marks the start of an international year that will see England defend their European crown in Monchengladbach and Scotland and Wales compete in Ukraine for promotion into the top tier of the European Championships, both of which take place in August.  Later in the year, the athletes will come together again as Great Britain for the FIH Champions Trophy in Delhi in December.

Great Britain Men’s Hockey Squad for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Name (Club) [Position] Home Nation GB Caps/GB Goals Home Nation Caps/Home Nation Goals Age
Richard Alexander (Surbiton) [Def/Mid/Fwd] England 39/4 114/10 29
Alastair Brogdon (Bowdon) [Fwd] England 4/0 39/3 23
Nick Brothers (Reading) [GK] England 3/0 24/0 27
Jonty Clarke (Reading) [Fwd] England 33/8 124/24 30
Matt Daly (Surbiton) [Fwd] England 34/10 88/40 27
Stephen Dick (Reading) [Fwd] Scotland 29/5 100/# 25
Adam Dixon (Beeston) [Def/Mid] England 5/0 47/0 24
James Fair (Cannock) [GK] England 16/0 75/0 30
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) [Mid] England 42/4 131/7 28 
Iain Lewers (Loughborough Students) [Def] England 0/0 0/0 27
Iain Mackay (Reading) [Mid] England 5/1 47/8 25
Richard Mantell (Reading) [Def] England 34/16 99/46 29
Simon Mantell (Reading) [Fwd] England 34/6 75/35 26
Rob Moore (Wimbledon) [Mid/Fwd] England 56/14 134/17 29
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) [Def] England 2/1 50/5 23
Niall Stott (East Grinstead) [Def] Scotland 69/8 112/# 30
James Tindall (Surbiton) [Fwd] England 39/15 114/50 27
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) [Def] England 36/0 89/6 27

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Fixtures, May  5-15 2011

Date – UK Time – Local Time – Fixture
Thursday 5 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – New Zealand v Pakistan
Thursday 5 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Korea v India
Thursday 5 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – Great Britain v Malaysia
Friday 6 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – Korea v Pakistan
Friday 6 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Great Britain v India
Friday 6 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – Australia v Malaysia
Saturday 7 May – Rest Day
Sunday 8 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – Australia v India
Sunday 8 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Great Britain v Pakistan
Sunday 8 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – Korea v New Zealand
Monday 9 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – Australia v Pakistan
Monday 9 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Great Britain v New Zealand
Monday 9 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – India v Malaysia
Tuesday 10 May – Rest Day
Wednesday 11 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – New Zealand v Malaysia
Wednesday 11 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Australia v Korea
Wednesday 11 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – Pakistan v India
Thursday 12 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – Australia v Great Britain
Thursday 12 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – New Zealand v India
Thursday 12 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – Korea v Malaysia
Friday 13 May – Rest Day
Saturday 14 May – 09:05 – 16:05 – Great Britain v Korea
Saturday 14 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Pakistan v Malaysia
Saturday 14 May – 13:05 – 20:05 – Australia v New Zealand
Sunday 15 May – 08:35 – 15:35 – Fifth v Sixth
Sunday 15 May – 11:05 – 18:05 – Third v Fourth
Sunday 15 May – 13:35 – 20:35 – First v Second

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Participating Nations (World Rankings)
Australia (World number 1)
Great Britain (4)
Korea (6)
New Zealand (7)
Pakistan (8)
India (9)
Malaysia (15)