Final 18 named to play Ireland this Thursday

England and Ireland at last Summer's EuroHockey Championships - credit Frank Uijlenbroek

Ahead of the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup on Thursday 10 April England Men’s Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named his 18 athletes who will play against Ireland.

The 2014 NOW: Pensions Nations Cup will be run in a different format from that which saw England go up against the Netherlands three times last summer. This time around it’s one match, winner takes all.

Crutchley was keen to wait until as close to the day as possible to name his final 18 to face the FIH world ranked number 15 side. Speaking about the fixture ahead Crutchley said, “The NOW: Pensions Nations Cup marks the start of preparations for what is going to be an exciting summer with the World Cup, Investec London Cup and Commonwealth Games all on the horizon. Playing the Netherlands at Wakefield last summer gave some of the less experienced guys a chance to play in front of a home crowd for the first time and it’s great that we get to do that again at Reading [Hockey Club] later this week.”

He added, “Ireland are a strong side and we’ve had some great battles with them in recent years. They are a team which is continuously improving and with Craig [Fulton] taking over as head coach no doubt players will be keen to impress ahead of their Champions Challenge tournament in a couple of weeks.”

England’s one to watch
Reading’s Tom Carson will no doubt be a man to watch now he's been selected to the squad this Thursday. Carson will be playing at his club’s home ground [Reading HC] and having notched up 13 goals already in just 28 appearances, three of which came against Ireland in 2013, Fulton’s side will be all too aware of the attacking threat he poses.

England v Ireland – the history
England and Ireland have a playing history which records show spans back to 1895, with England winning 66 out of the 99 meetings. 14 of the squad will have vivid memories of the team’s last encounter when a 2-2 draw in Boom [Belgium] was enough to see England through to the 2013 European semi-finals, but left Ireland third in their group and battling it out for the lower placings. This game will be Ireland and England's 100th international match, so they can be expected to do their best to make it a good one for the crowd.

A number of athletes playing in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup will have to switch from being club teammates to international opponents, as those who play domestically for Reading also play alongside two players named in the Ireland squad – John Jackson and Chris Cargo. Add in the factor of playing at their club’s home-ground, no doubt the selected Reading internationals, both English and Irish, will be relishing the fixture ahead of them.

England v Ireland – two match series
The NOW: Pensions Nations Cup will be followed by a training match against Ireland at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre on Friday 11 April. This match is not open to the public, will not be capped and there will not be a match report following the game.

England squad injuries
Notable omissions from the squad of 18 are Henry Weir, Andy Bull and Darren Cheesman who have all been ruled out of selection due to injury. Richard Smith is also still sidelined following surgery on his knee at the start of the year.


Thursday 10 April - England v Ireland - 19:15

England Men’s Squad for the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup, 10 April

Name (current club)

Alastair Brogdon (Wimbledon)
Tom Carson (Reading)
Nick Catlin (Reading)
David Condon (East Grinstead)
Adam Dixon (Beeston)
Dan Fox (Holcombe)
Mark Gleghorne (East Grinstead)
Michael Hoare (Wimbledon)
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead)
Iain Lewers (East Grinstead)
Simon Mantell (Reading)
Harry Martin (Beeston)
Barry Middleton (Holcombe)
George Pinner (Beeston)
Dan Shingles (Reading)
Patrick Smith (Cannock)
Tim Whiteman (Beeston)
Ollie Willars (Beeston)


Ireland Men's Squad

Name - Club

David Fitzgerald (GK)- Monkstown
Stephen West (GK) - Three Rock Rovers
Jonathan Bell – Lisnagarvey
Mathew Bell - Banbridge
Philip Brown – Banbridge
Peter Brown – UCD
Nicholas Burns – UCD
Chris Cargo - Reading
Drew Carlisle- Banbridge
David Carson - Monkstown
Stephen Dowds - Banbridge
Jeremy Duncan – UCD
Stuart Loughrey – Cannock
John Jackson - Reading
Jason Lynch - Lisnagarvey
Michael Robson- Annadale
Harry Spain – Pembroke Wanderers
Alan Sothern – Pembroke Wanderers