Atlanta '96: Britain need to end goal famine
SPORT-BY-SPORT GUIDE No1: HOCKEY
Tuesday 09 July 1996
Both team coaches have expressed their disappointments and frustrations at their problems in that area and have tried desperate last-minute efforts to address the problem.
Jon Copp, the recently appointed replacement for David Whitaker, resorted to showing videos of Sean Kerly's scoring attributes and then pushing Russell Garcia, the only surviving member of the squad that won the gold medal in Seoul, forward - both without immediate success.
Both teams go to Atlanta with the benefit of more "professional" preparation than any previous squads. The men have played 39 internationals since they started their build-up last November and have spent endless weeks at Bisham Abbey.
The unfortunate departure of Whitaker, just eight weeks before the Games, has clearly been detrimental to prospects. It might have been easier to face had it happened several months ago when the original problems were clearly brewing. The change-over has not helped, but the unprecedented size of the programme over the eight months and the loss of form of Calum Giles, the specialist penalty-corner striker, are equally significant.
South Korea are the men's first opponents. Not too much is known of them, although they won the Six Nations' Tournament in Ipoh in which Britain finished fourth.
Points against South Korea and the Dutch, who seem to be running into form, in the second game, seem essential if Britain are to mount a challenge for a place in the semi-finals. Malaysia and South Africa, who follow, will be no walkovers but should provide full points. Britain's final pool game is against Australia, who are strong favourites for a place in the semi-finals.
The women's eight-nation round-robin format, with play-offs for the medal places, will provide a stern test of fitness and, most of all, consistency.
Again, South Korea and the Dutch provide Britain's first opponents in a competition where each team is very capable of taking points off each other. To equal or better their bronze medal in Barcelona would be a real achievement for Britain.
BRITISH SQUADS: Men: J Laslett (capt), P McGuire (both Teddington), R Thompson, S Hazlitt (both Hounslow), C Giles (Havant), Soma Singh, J Shaw (both Southgate), C Mayer, Kalbir Takher (both Cannock), S Mason, J Wyatt (both Reading), D Luckes (East Grinstead), J Halls, N Thompson (both Old Loughtonians), D Hall (Guildford), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona).
Women: J Atkins (Bradford Swithenbank, capt), A Bennett, M Nicholls, K Brown (all Slough), J Sixsmith, H Rose, M Davies (all Sutton Canada Life), T Cullen, C Cook (both Hightown), T Miller (Clifton), J Mould, K Johnson (both Balsam Leicester), J Thompson (Ipswich), R Simpson (Edinburgh), P Robertson, S Fraser (both Bonagrass Grove).
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Manchester United latest: Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing Angel Di Maria fails to improve
Arsenal: Arrival of Calum Chambers and David Ospina puts Arsène Wenger's spending past £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 4 Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£90 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Outstanding Teaching Assistants needed f...
£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education are urgentl...