Ashley Jackson will return to the England hockey team for the 2011 European Championship after an eight-month injury lay off.
[img_assist|nid=603|title=Back in action:|desc=Ashley Jackson playing against Pakistan in 2009|link=node|align=left|width=200|height=146]Jackson (pictured left) scored twice in the 2009 European final as England beat Germany 5-3 and the 23 year old former world young player of the year is one of 15 members of the 2011 squad who came home from Amsterdam with medals that year. The Kent-born midfielder has been out since December 2010 and missed the second half of last season with his club as well as England’s FIH Indoor World Cup campaign in Poland.
Jackson’s East Grinstead team-mate Mark Pearn is one of the three athletes selected that were not part of the 2009 squad. Pearn recently returned to the England fold six years after retiring from international hockey. Having made his comeback in June’s Rabo Four Nations Cup in the Netherlands, Pearn also played in the London Cup earlier this month where he netted his 50th goal for England in the final match against Belgium.
Nick Catlin and Iain Lewers are the other two members of the squad that were not part of England’s 2009 EuroHockey Nations Championships squad. Absentees from the successful 2009 squad are Simon Mantell, Alastair Brogdon and Ben Hawes.
England coach Jason Lee said: “It is with great pleasure that we have been able to include a fully fit Ashley Jackson in the team after eight months out. A couple of months ago it seemed that he wasn’t going to regain fitness for this summer, but recently he has progressed quickly and even played a cameo role in two recent practice matches against Korea. Even given his time out, his class was obvious.
“However unexpected our 2009 European victory was for people outside our group, we aim to win it again and we feel that we have the ability to do just that.
“We think the EuroHockey Nations Championships is a key event on its own, but participation in a major tournament, trying to win it and against world class opposition will be a valuable developmental experience in advance of London 2012. We want to become accustomed to winning medals.”
The nine day tournament runs from 20-28 August with England drawn in Pool B alongside the Netherlands, France and Ireland. Pool A consists of the hosts and Olympic Champions Germany, Spain, Belgium and Russia. England’s opening match comes on day two of the tournament, against Ireland, before facing the Netherlands and France.
In preparation for their European campaign, England will spend time training in Monchengladbach and Terrassa in Spain in early August before returning to Germany for the tournament.
England Hockey Men’s EuroHockey Nations Championships Fixtures
Sunday 21 August 2011 – 09:00 BST – England v Ireland
Monday 22 August 2011 – 18:00 BST – England v Netherlands
Wednesday 24 August 2011 – 12:00 BST – France v England
Friday 26 August 2011 – Pool C Classification Matches & Semi Finals
Sunday 28 August 2011 – Pool C Classification Matches & Medal Matches
ENGLAND HOCKEY MEN’S SQUAD FOR EUROHOCKEY NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Name (Club) [Position] England Caps/England Goals – GB Caps/GB Goals – Age
Richard Alexander (Surbiton) [Defender/Midfielder/Forward] 123/11 – 46/5 – 29
Nick Brothers (Reading) [Goalkeeper] 28/0 – 7/0 – 27
Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students) [Forward] 38/3 – 7/1 – 22
Jonty Clarke (Reading) [Forward] 133/28 – 40/11 – 30
Matt Daly (Surbiton) [Forward] 88/40 – 41/12 – 28
Adam Dixon (Beeston) [Defender/Midfielder] 51/1 – 12/0 – 24
James Fair (Cannock) [Goalkeeper] 80/0 – 19/0 – 30
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) [Midfielder] 64/44 – 41/13 – 23
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) [Midfielder] 138/7 – 49/4 – 28
Iain Lewers (Loughborough Students) [Defender] 8/1 – 7/0 – 27
Iain Mackay (Reading) [Midfielder] 56/10 – 12/1 – 26
Richard Mantell (Reading) [Defender] 108/48 – 41/19 – 29
Barry Middleton (c) (Der Club An Der Alster) [Midfielder/Forward] 152/41 – 80/28 – 27
Rob Moore (Wimbledon) [Midfielder/Forward] 142/19 – 63/17 – 30
Mark Pearn (East Grinstead) [Forward] 154/50 – 76/21 – 34
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) [Defender] 57/6 – 7/3 – 23
James Tindall (Surbiton) [Forward] 119/52 – 46/17 – 28
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) [Defender] 96/6 – 42/0 – 27