Dancer puts faith in Halls to raise spirits

Barry Dancer, the British coach, has resisted pressure to look outside his training squad following his team's disappointing performances in the Olympic qualifier and more recently the Champions' Trophy, in naming his 16-man squad for Sydney 2000.

Barry Dancer, the British coach, has resisted pressure to look outside his training squad following his team's disappointing performances in the Olympic qualifier and more recently the Champions' Trophy, in naming his 16-man squad for Sydney 2000.

However, he has recalled Julian Halls, one of six previous Olympians, who appeared to have been marginalised. Halls will boost a defence which leaked 20 goals in six games in the Champions' Trophy. His recall, and the inclusion of Billy Waugh, may be viewed by some as an exercise in damage limitation.

A solid defence, which has traditionally made British sides difficult to beat, can become the springboard for attack. Although it is difficult to see many goals coming from open play, much will depend on the penalty-corner successes of Calum Giles and others.

Brett Garrard, who played less than a full game for Surbiton last season and returned home early from the Australia/New Zealand tour at the beginning of the year for a knee operation, will share the centre midfield role with David Hacker, himself returning from a broken bone in his ankle. Garrard has played most of his international career in the back four.

The inclusion of Manpreet Kochar as one of the two travelling reserves ahead of the more experienced Duncan Woods and Andy Humphreyreflects the uncertainty inGarrard and Hacker.

Dancer said: "I am confident that we have been able to select the best team and I am in a position to narrow our focus. The mental strength and team spirit that was forged in recent tournaments will be the cornerstone for success in Sydney."

GREAT BRITAIN SQUAD: J Wyatt, M Pearn, S Mason (all Reading), J Halls, B Sharpe, C Parnham, M Johnson (all Cannock), J Wallis (Teddington), D Hall, G Fordham (Guildford), T Bertram (Bournville), D Luckes, B Garrard, C Giles (Surbiton), B Waugh (Southgate), D Hacker (Canterbury). Travelling reserves: S Head (Surbiton), M Kochar (Reading).

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