The road to a place on the England and GB programme has been bumpy for James Albery, even after all his early accolades. Thus, when he led out England for one of their Pro League games in India last month, the 26-year-old took it all in. “It’s something you dream of but not something you think will become a reality,” he tells The Hockey Paper. “It was an amazing experience and a day I will look back at.”
Albery, a former Hockey Writers’ Club junior winner in 2011, first represented England at 14 and was ever-present at age group level, playing Junior World Cups along the way. He debuted at senior England level in 2016, spent two years on the programme but was unfortunate with injuries.
“I never got my foot in the door with a regular place,” he says. “It’s been an interesting ride since I made my debut but this was a massive up [captaining England].”
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