Men’s head coach Bobby Crutchley is confident his England team can make at least the semi-finals of the Hockey World Cup after naming his squad of 18 to travel to the Netherlands.
England reached the same stage in New Delhi four years ago before losing to Germany and then subsequently missed out on a medal, losing the third-placed play-off to this year’s hosts the Netherlands.
This time around they will open their campaign in The Hague with games against fellow Pool A opponents Australia, Belgium, India, Malaysia and Spain.
The team welcomes back midfielder Henry Weir, who has recovered from an ankle injury while Barry Middleton will lead the team for the tournament, which runs from May 31 –June 15.
And while men’s world number one team Australia are the only higher ranked team than England in the group, Crutchley insisted complacency was not an issue.
“There isn’t an easy game at a World Cup and we’re facing some quality opposition in our group, however I’ve seen this team consistently improve over the last 12 months and I think we can be contenders for a top two finish,” he said.
“Our first match is against Spain who are a bit of an unknown entity at the moment, but we always have tough matches against them.
“India have been in a rebuilding phase with Terry Walsh as their coach and it will be interesting to see the impact he has had on the talent in that squad.
“Then with Australia [world number one side] and Belgium to face in our last two games we’ll need to be consistently at the top of our game throughout the group stages.”
George Pinner, Goalkeeper
James Bailey, Goalkeeper
Henry Weir , Midfield
Ashley Jackson, Midfield/Forward
Simon Mantell, Forward
Harry Martin, Midfield
Alastair Brogdon, Forward
Michael Hoare, Defender
Adam Dixon, Defender/Midfield
Barry Middleton, Midfield/Forward
Dan Shingles, Midfield
Tim Whiteman, Midfield/Defender
David Condon, Midfield
Tom Carson, Forward
Iain Lewers, Defender
Nick Catlin, Midfield/Forward
Dan Fox, Defender
Mark Gleghorne, Forward
© Sportsbeat 2014