Ollie Willars set for South Africa. Photo c/o David Kissman
Bobby Crutchley, the England Men’s Head Coach has named his squad for a four test series in South Africa. As Crutchley’s team embark on their preparations for the Hockey World League Semi-Final in London they head to Cape Town to face South Africa and Germany.
England will play the hosts twice on 2 March 2017 and 6 March 2017 with the Germany clashes on 4 March 2017 and 8 Match 2017.
The 18-strong group has a youthful look about it with nine of the players recently added to the central programme in line to win their first caps.
James Albery, Liam Ansell, Brendan Creed, David Goodfield, Jonty Griffiths, Ed Horler, Liam Sanford and Luke Taylor are all set to make their first senior appearances. Goalkeeper Harry Gibson has seven Great Britain caps but is yet to make his England bow, which he could do in this series.
James Albery in action for the Bees. Photo c/o David Kissman
Rio Olympians David Ames, George Pinner, Michael Hoare, Ian Sloan, Sam Ward and Henry Weir will also make the trip. Ward will win his 50th international cap in the next match he plays. There is also a place for Chris Griffiths who makes a return from long term injury.
The squad of 21 athletes also contains two players from England’s U21s. University of Durham’s Jack Turner and Bath Buccaneers forward Peter Scott have both impressed in the junior ranks and will join the team to gain valuable experience of a senior international trip as part of their continued development.
Captain Barry Middleton, Adam Dixon and Mark Gleghorne will be rested after competing in the Hockey India League whilst Harry Martin is unavailable due to club commitments with Rotterdam.
Crutchley told England Hockey:
“The trip is a great opportunity to expose the new squad to international matches early in the cycle. With matches against Germany and South Africa it provides an ideal opportunity to start our preparations for the World League semi-final and Europeans later in the year.”
Full squad and staff can be found below:
James Albery – Beeston
David Ames – Holcombe
Liam Ansell – Surbiton
Tom Carson – Reading
Brendan Creed – Surbiton
Harry Gibson (GK) – Surbiton
David Goodfield – Surbiton
Chris Griffiths – East Grinstead
Jonty Griffiths – Loughborough
Michael Hoare – Wimbledon
Ed Horler – Loughborough Students
George Pinner (GK) – Holcombe
Phil Roper – Wimbledon
Liam Sanford – Team Bath Buccaneers & RAF
Peter Scott – Team Bath Buccaneers
Ian Sloan – Wimbledon
Luke Taylor – Loughborough Students
Jack Turner – University of Durham
Sam Ward – Holcombe
Henry Weir – Wimbledon
Ollie Willars – Beeston