[img_assist|nid=8152|title=Adam Dixon vs Scotland|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=178|height=200]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.
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).
Men’s World League Semi Final – Pool information
Pool A Pool B
– * South Africa
*The additional team will be named at the end of this week following the completion of the final World League Round 2 tournament in Russia.
Men’s World League Semi Final – match schedule
Date/Math # Match Time (UK) Teams
June 29th, 2013
1 Pool A 08:00 GER – ARG
2 Pool A 10:00 KOR –
3 Pool B 12:00 PAK – MAS
4 Pool B 14:00 ENG – RSA
June 30th, 2013
5 Pool A 08:00 ARG –
6 Pool A 10:00 KOR – GER
7 Pool B 12:00 PAK – ENG
8 Pool B 14:00 RSA – MAS
July 2nd, 2013
9 Pool A 08:00 GER –
10 Pool A 10:00 ARG – KOR
11 Pool B 12:00 ENG – MAS
12 Pool B 14:00 RSA – PAK
July 4th, 2013
13 Quarterfinal 07:45 1A – 4B
14 Quarterfinal 10:00 2B – 3A
15 Quarterfinal 12:15 2A – 3B
16 Quarterfinal 14:30 1B – 4A
July 6th, 2013
17 5-8 Placement 07:45 L13 – L14
18 Semi-Final 12:15 W13 – W14
20 Semi-Final 14:30 W15 – W16
July 7th, 2013
21 7-8 Placement 07:45 L17 – L18
22 5-6 Placement 10:00 W17 – W18
23 3-4 Placement 12:15 L19 – L20
24 Final 14:30 W19 – W20
England men in action against Germany and Belgium
Prior to the World League Semi Final, England will play warm up games against Belgium and Germany in Antwerp and Manheim respectively. The games against Belgium will be official and a results service will be provided. The matches against Germany will be played as training games with more than 18 players and therefore will not be official.
Belgium v England schedule
Date Time (UK) Teams
June 3rd, 2013 14:00 BEL – ENG
June 4th, 2013 14:00 BEL – ENG
June 6th, 2013 10:00 BEL – ENG
The squad for these fixtures will remain unchanged from the one listed below, bar one exception; Andy Bull (Loughborough Students) will replace Richard Smith as he continues to recover from a fractured thumb.