Hockey: England's 'outrageous' decision

Bob McBlane, the Loughborough Students' manager described England Hockey's decision not to allow the postponement of this weekend's National League programme despite the large number of players on international duty as "outrageous".

Bob McBlane, the Loughborough Students' manager described England Hockey's decision not to allow the postponement of this weekend's National League programme despite the large number of players on international duty as "outrageous".

"We appealed against the decision but I knew from the start that our appeal would not be upheld," said McBlane. "England Hockey has no feeling for the clubs and just don't care."

The frustrated manager added: "Something has got to be done about it. The League is now a mockery. As soon as it was known that both seniors and juniors would be missing at the same time the whole Division One programme should have been postponed."

McBlane clearly has a point. For tomorrow's game against relegation-threatened Firebrands, Students will be without seven of their starting line-up although they expect to play a half-fit Tim Benford who broke his hand in the European Indoor Championships. Old Loughtonians, fighting to avoid relegation after their first season back in the top Division, will be six short when they visit St Albans.

Eight players will be missing in the fixtures between leaders Cannock and runners up Reading although both teams are almost certain to qualify for the end of season play-offs.

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