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Dream Team: Mark Pearn

East Grinstead's Mark Pearn celebrates his goal against SC Stroitel Brest during their EuroHockey League Round 1.2 game at East Grinstead HC, West Sussex.

Surbiton head coach and former Reading, East Grinstead and Great Britain forward Mark Pearn picks the XI he’d relish watching play together…

Goalkeeper

Simon Mason – Reading and England & GB

Pretty obvious one. I  played with him at school, as well, so I’ve spent a long time with him. He’s a few years older than me but I’ve been in his teams for most of my hockey career. As a goalkeeper, to stay at the top level for as long as he did was pretty amazing.

Marking

Fullback:

Martin Häner – East Grinstead

He’s won Olympic gold medals for Germany. Even at a young age you could see what a talented player he was. A good corner threat and a new breed of defender who’s very comfortable carrying the ball. He could throw aerials big distances, a great passer and a leader of people.

Sweeper:

Jon Wyatt – Reading

He was my captain at Reading for a long time, and captain of the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup winning team at Reading. A very attacking full back, not so much in terms of carrying it but as soon as he won the ball he’d look to go route one.

Left Half:

Glenn Kirkham – East Grinstead, England & GB

Glenn’s very experienced. He is very comfortable on the ball, a great passer, but also reads the game so well – very difficult to beat.

Right Half:

Barry Middleton – Holcombe & England

He’s so versatile. He can play in any position  so to get some other players in the team he’s going to cover for me at half back, and I don’t think you would struggle to get out of defence with him in there.

Holding

Midfielder:

Francisco Fábregas – Real Club de Polo de Barcelona

He was part of the Spanish team for a long time. I trained at Polo Club with him and he set some incredibly high standards. It was just a pleasure to go and play with him and learn off him.

Inside Forward:

Ashley Jackson – East Grinstead, England & GB

Very talented obviously, a corner threat and at his peak, around that EuroHockey Championships in 2009, he was just an exceptional talent, always looking to push his game. In training his one-v-one defence was right up there. He would take it as a personal slight if you got past him.

Russell Garcia – England & GB

He was someone I highly respected; he was very dynamic and a  good corner flicker. Before we had lots of strength and conditioning he was already there leading the way in his later years. Russell was someone I tried to learn off when I was 18  and in the squad.

Forward:

Danny Hall – East Grinstead, England & GB

A real close friend, someone I’ve grown up with. He was my roommate for internationals. He had electric pace, hit the ball like a train, goalkeepers feared him. We had a telepathic link between us.

Forward:

Pol Amat – Real Club de Polo de Barcelona

One of the reasons I went to Polo Club was to play alongside him. I played against him for many years, electric pace, probably one of the first people to want to go onto his backhand rather than forehand and lethal on the backhand.

Forward:

Alan Forsyth –  Surbiton

I will probably play a  bit of indoor with him over the winter. I’ve never seen such a fantastic finisher and someone so comfortable with their back to goal  finding space to shoot.

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