Bobby Crutchley announces squad for World League Final

Dan Fox will captain Great Britain at the World League Final. Credit Ravi Ghowry

Great Britain Men’s Coach Bobby Crutchley has named his squad for the World League Final in Raipur, India. Crutchley has made eight changes to the group that competed in the semi-final of this competition in June of this year, a tournament where Great Britain secured their place at the Olympics in Rio.

There are a number of high profile players who will be rested for the competition with Captain Barry Middleton, a veteran of 360 international appearances and all-time leading scorer Ashley Jackson amongst the most eye-catching of those absentees. In Middleton’s absence, the team will be captained by Holcombe defender Dan Fox. The other players to be rested are George Pinner, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne and Iain Lewers, whilst Chris Griffiths and David Ames are currently recovering from injury.

Wimbledon’s Ian Sloan and Hampstead and Westminster goalkeeper Harry Gibson both come in for their first competitive senior tournament for Great Britain.

Scotland striker Alan Forsyth, who scored on his Great Britain debut against Argentina last week is included for his first competition with the squad and will be joined by fellow Scotland and Surbiton player Chris Grassick. Both are approaching landmark appearances with Forsyth on 96 combined international caps and Grassick 94. Forsyth is also on 49 international goals (48 Scotland, one Great Britain.)

A number of other players are poised to reach milestones at the competition in India. Holcombe’s Nick Catlin currently has 48 Great Britain caps to his name and should reach his half-century against Australia in the second pool match.

Beeston’s Tim Whiteman has 49 combined international caps and so should reach 50 in the opening game against Canada.

Simon Mantell, who has recently returned from long term injury is set to compete in his first international tournament since the 2014 Commonwealth Games and could reach 200 international caps in the latter stages of the competition. He currently has 194 combined caps.

Great Britain are in a pool with Australia, Belgium and Canada with the other pool featuring Argentina, Germany, India and Netherlands.

Bobby Crutchley, Great Britain Head Coach

On the squad selected:
“I am very excited to select a squad including a number of younger players who we believe have very exciting futures ahead of them. Despite this inexperience, we believe all of the selected players are capable of pushing for Olympic selection in 2016.”

On making Dan Fox captain:
“As a senior member of the squad Dan has a calm and inclusive leadership style that is highly valued by the group.”

On some of the newer members of the squad, Alan Forsyth, Ian Sloan and Harry Gibson:
“We have watched Alan Forsyth’s performances continually improve for Surbiton and Scotland over the past couple of years. Since coming into the squad in September, his ability to learn and develop quickly is clearly evident and he fully deserves this opportunity.”

“In the past 12 months Ian Sloan has worked hard to develop a number of areas of his game. This has made him a more effective and versatile player, with the ability to now play in a number of positions.”

“It will be interesting to see Harry Gibson make the big step up to senior international level, after some outstanding performances with our under 21s. Despite his young age, his maturity, hard work and attention to detail will help him to do this.”

On Great Britain’s aims for the tournament:
“Despite selecting a relatively inexperienced group, we are still very ambitious and will initially be targeting a semi-final place.”

Great Britain squad for World League Final

Player Club
James Bailey Wimbledon
Alastair Brogdon Wimbledon
Nick Catlin Holcombe
David Condon East Grinstead
Alan Forsyth Surbiton
Dan Fox (Captain) Holcombe
Harry Gibson Hampstead and Westminster
Chris Grassick Surbiton
Michael Hoare Wimbledon
Simon Mantell Reading
Harry Martin Beeston
Phil Roper Wimbledon
Dan Shingles Reading
Ian Sloan Wimbledon
Sam Ward Holcombe
Henry Weir Wimbledon
Tim Whiteman Beeston
Ollie Willars Beeston