England head coach Danny Kerry is relishing the prospect of playing an Indian side on the up after the groups for next year’s Hockey World Cup were announced.
Kerry’s side were drawn alongside India, Ireland and the USA in Pool B, with their campaign beginning against the former on Saturday, July 21 at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
England, whose squad is likely to feature many of the players who helped Team GB to Olympic glory in Rio last summer, then play the USA in a midweek encounter before a home nations clash against Ireland on the Sunday.
“The publishing of the draw for the World Cup makes the reality of a home World Cup seem more real as next July fast approaches,” said Kerry.
“Our opening game will be against a resurgent India side that recently won the Asia Cup under a new coach, followed by talented teams in USA and Ireland.
“As ever at this level each game will be decided by the moments and margins and the tournament will be exciting for it.
“We will be incredibly well prepared for the off at 2pm on July 21, and look forward to having the home support with us every step of the way.”
England last played the USA just a week ago, prevailing 2-1 in the last eight of the Hockey World League Final, while Ireland were dispatched 4-1 in August’s EuroHockey Championships as England went on to capture bronze.
And many England players’ last experience against India would have been the 3-0 win over India en route to Olympic gold last year.