By The Hockey Paper
Kiwi coach Shane McLeod has made some surprise omissions as hosts Belgium attempt to add the EuroHockey Championship title to their World Cup success.
Attackers Sebastien Dockier, Tanguy Cosyns and Maxime Plennevaux have all been left out of the Red Lions’ 18-strong squad, along with the young duo of Nicolas Poncelet and Augustin Meurmans.
Belgium take on Spain in the opening match in Antwerp on Friday Aug 16 against Spain, a group which also features England and Wales.
“The selection was very complicated,” the New Zealand coach told reporters at a press conference in Antwerp on Tuesday.
McLeod added that Dockier, who has been a regular in Belgium’s rise to world champions, was still in the frame for Tokyo selection, should they qualify.
On the Belgium women‘s side, there is an interesting call-up for British-born Abigail Raye, who has switched allegiances from Canada to play for the Red Panthers.
Defender Raye, who was born in Surrey, won 155 caps for Canada while the 28-year-old last played three years ago at international level.
Belgium men’s squad:
Vincent Vanasch, Loïc Van Doren, Arthur Van Doren, Arthur de Sloover, Gauthier Boccard, Alexander Hendrickx, Loïck Luypaert, Emmanuel Stockbroekx, John-John Dohmen, Simon Gougnard, Victor Wegnez, Felix Denayer, Antoine Kina, Thomas Briels, Cédric Charlier, Tom Boon, Florent Van Aubel, Nicolas De Kerpel.