England coach looks to youth: Hockey

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The Independent Online
Maggie Souyave has named six uncapped players - four of them teenagers - in a party announced yesterday for the Five Nations' Tournament in Vancouver starting next month. It is the first England squad since the Atlanta Olympics.

No special significance should be given to the absence of players like Jane Sixsmith, Mandy Nicholls, Sally Gibson and Lisa Bayliss (who is to be married during the period of the tournament). The coach is well aware of their abilities, and she is also conscious that three of the teams they will be meeting in Vancouver - Canada, Ireland and Japan - are in England's pool in the World Cup Qualifier in Harare in August. She will wish to keep some of her options under wraps.

Of the uncapped players, the selection of Olton's 17-year-old striker Lucilla Wright, the leading National League goalscorer, will cause few surprises. Nor will the choice of Purdy Miller and Denise Marsten-Smith, who were prominent in the England Under-21 side last summer, or the Olympian Jo Mould - already capped 23 times by Great Britain. Leicester's 19-year- old Carol Voss and Lisa Copeland, who is not a regular member of the Slough starting line-up, are less expected selections.

Copeland will hope to prove her worth in the fifth round of the AEWHA Cup on Sunday, when Slough entertain Leicester. Ipswich meet the First Division leaders, Olton.

ENGLAND WOMEN'S SQUAD (Five Nations Tournament, Vancouver, 30 April to 4 May): S Blanks, K Bowden, P Miller, J Mould, C Voss (all Balsam Leicester), K Brown, L Copeland, J Smith (all Slough), T Cullen, L Newcombe, C Reid (Hightown), H Rose, M Davies (all Sutton Coldfield), L Wright (Olton), D Marsten-Smith (Clifton), J Empson (Canterbury).