Hockey: Germany stop Rott from helping Southgate

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Tomorrow's restart of the National League season after the Christmas break could be significantly influenced by the movements of overseas players.

Southgate, currently in third place, had pinned their hopes for the second half of the season on German student Eiker Rott, but he has been called into the German World Cup squad and is not available. However, they should still secure a win over Barford Tigers.

South African goalkeeper Brian Myburgh will be missing from Old Loughtonians' line-up at Doncaster, while his compatriot, Surbiton's Greg Nicol - the League's leading goalscorer - has decided not to return after Christmas at home. Surbiton were also hoping to welcome back Gareth Notton from Old Georgians, but he too has changed his mind.

Meanwhile, Chelmsford's two South Africans, Mike Cullen and Justin King, have returned and will be in the team to meet Harleston Magpies.

Cannock entertain Reading, whose defensive crisis has forced them to recall Charlie Oscroft from retirement.