England announce strengthened hockey squad for Champions Trophy
The England hockey squad for the upcoming ABN AMRO Men’s Champions Trophy has been announced. The EHB (England Hockey Board) has announced the strengthened squad for the tournament where six top teams of the hockey world will be participating. The English coach Jason Lee has recalled four athletes into the team who were not included in the International Four Nations Tournament in Nottingham. These four players were not included to try some young legs before the side participates in the Champions Trophy.
The Champions Trophy is one of the most important hockey tournaments in the calendar year which attracts the top six teams from around the world who compete with each other on a round robin format. The host team gets an automatic entry into the tournament along with the defending Champions, World Champions, and the next three highest ranked teams in FIH rankings. The winner of the Champions Challenge, which was introduced in 2001 to give a chance to low ranked teams to compete in the Champions Trophy, is usually included as the sixth member.
The Champions Trophy was the brainchild of the President, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Air Marshal Nur Khan in 1978, when he proposed this concept to the International Hockey Body. Pakistan hosted the inaugural edition in 1978 at Lahore where five of the best hockey teams of the world competed against each other on a round robin basis. The second edition was played in Karachi in 1980 after which it became a regular event in the hockey calendar.
The 2010 ABN AMRO Men’s Champions Trophy is scheduled from 31st July to 8th August in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The English side has selected the best possible team that include the Surbotion duo of Rob MOORE and Ben HAWES, team England will also have the services of Hampstead & Westminster defender Dan FOX.
Loughborough Student Richard SMIITH is also included in the team after recovering from injury problems. The young 18 years old Brooklands MU defender Andy Bull is also on the side, he has represented England in the under 18 boys and under 21. Bull was impressive against New Zealand, Japan and Germany in the four nation International tournament played at Highfields, Nottingham, he has been retained after his debut performance against the world top teams. Reading’s Richard MANTELL and Surbiton’s Matt DALY still haven’t recovered from injuries they suffered in the World Cup and prior to the World Cup respectively.
The ABN AMRO Champions trophy willbegin in Germany on the 31st July, 2010 and the finals will be played on Sunday, 8th August, 2010. The top six teams will be competing in this Champions Trophy and the teams include Netherlands, Australia, England, Spain, New Zealand and the hosts Germany. The English team will start its campaign by playing against the German side on Sunday the 31st of July, 2010.
The English side will then play against Spain on the 1st of August, Australia on 3rd of August, Netherlands on the 5th and against New Zealand on the 7th. Play Offs and the final will be played on Sunday the 8th of August, 2010. Before departing to Germany for participating in ABN AMRO Champions Trophy, a four day training camp is organized for the squad.
The England hockey team finished fourth in the most recent World Cup played in India which is the best performance of the English side in the 12 nation tournament outside their country. The English side doesn’t want to repeat their previous effort in the Champions Trophy where they finished last in Melbourne 2009.
Team England includes the likes of Richard Alexander, Nick Brothers, Andy Bull, Nick Catlin, Jonty Clarke, Adam Dixon, James Fair, Dan Fox, Ben Hawes, Ashley Jackson, Glenn Kirkham, Iain Mackay, Simon Mantell, Barry Middleton, Rob Moore, Richard Smith, James Tindall and Alastair Wilson.