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Vitality women’s Hockey World Cup 2018: England’s path to Lee Valley

England’s Sophie Bray celebrates with Lily Owsley. (PIC: WORLDSPORTPICS)

By The Hockey Paper

No sooner has the Commonwealth Games finished than focus turns to hockey’s bigger prize, the Vitality women’s World Cup in London later this summer at Lee Valley.

Ever since England Hockey won the rights to host the tournament back in 2013, and boosted by the GB women team’s gold in Rio, there has been eager anticipation over the staging of the two-week event in July and August.

With the 100-day countdown having also passed during the semi-final stages on the Gold Coast, the World Cup will be upon us in a flash; the Oranje colours will flood the Olympic Park, Argentinian passion will transcend Westfield and the new wave of adoration for the England team will be there for all to see at their HQ.

But that’s in the future. Danny Kerry’s side touched down on Tuesday after bringing back bronze and entering a recovery week, which will be topped up with physical preparation work.

Warm-up matches will also be hosted against the likes of Belgium, Spain and Germany, which all have been set for Lee Valley on the relaid pitch at the Olympic Park venue.

Coach Kerry will also hope to see the return of injured trio Lily Owsley, Shona McCallin and Nicola White to the fold, while some players from the Commonwealth Games will lose out on selection.

England’s stars will also return to club level with the April Play-Offs, as well as Surbiton’s Euro campaign at Sugden Road all looming.

Meanwhile, in other World Cup news, organisers have inaugurated the spectator experiences and engagement plans for the London event, with the last mile route to be named, The Vitality Mile.

BT Sport has also offered one match free to air during the World Cup, with the team of relationship managers looking to partner clubs with pubs who have agreements with BT Sport.

The Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup brings the world’s best hockey players to London. A great day out with world class sport — tickets from £1 at seetickets.com/hockeyworldcup

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