It is perhaps testament to the growing stature of the Masters game that the England over-80s pushed back for the first international fixtures of the year in the UK at Bisham Abbey HQ this week.
This was the first time the over-80s have played a fully-fledged international since England played against the Netherlands in Breda in 2019. Given that one of its players, Brian Woolcott, told The Hockey Paper last year that he was “running like a greyhound” in the final of the European Championships over-75s in 2019, this week’s England team will be equally ready after such a long lay-off following the pandemic.
“This is my third attempt at trying to organise this one due to Covid so this is the return match,” said England captain George Hazell ahead of their 1-0 opening win against the Dutch on Wednesday.
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