Hockey: Nurse brings Hampstead and Westminster back to health

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The Independent Online

With the Great Britain players, having completed the first half of their two-week training camp at Bisham Abbey, again missing the National League programme, this week's third series of games goes into action with Hampstead and Westminster, the only team in the division on maximum points, visiting Guildford.

For the past couple of years, Hampstead and Westminster have struggled to maintain their Premier status, but, after the club's multinational recruiting drive in the summer, the return of Will Nurse has proven significant. The penalty corner specialist has scored a brace in each of the first two games.

His return to form could have something to do with the methods of his Australian coach, Todd Williams, an old friend of Jim Irvine, the highly successful coach of Amsterdam, who last season coached David Mathews into one of the most feared specialist corner strikers in the world.

Mathews was training with the British squad at Bisham this week under the watchful eyes of the coaches, Jason Lee and Mathias Ahrens. Scotland's Laurence Docherty, who plays for Klein Zwitzerland in the Dutch League and has been considering applying for Dutch citizenship, failed to turn up and must surely have ended any chance he had of playing for Britain.

The Great Britain team leader, Mike Hamilton, who fractured his jaw in three places in a training ground accident last Wednesday, was back at Bisham yesterday.