Hockey: Old Loughtonians aim to upset champions

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The Independent Online

The indoor season clicks into action this weekend with the National Champions of England (Loughborough Students), Scotland (Dundee Wanderers) and Wales (Swansea Bay) competing in the Coaching Solutions International Indoor Tournament at three venues in the Midlands before they start the defence of their titles.

In addition to the three National champions going for their fifth consecutive victory in the event will be Old Loughtonians. The Old Boys were last season surprisingly relegated from the Premier Division of the English National League. A good performance this weekend will boost their prospects of reclaiming their Premiership place.

Loughborough, beaten by Old Loughtonians in the last two finals at this tournament, look likely to meet them in a semi-final this time round.

Reading, promoted to the Premiership last year, are expected to meet Dundee in the second semi-final.

An eight-team women's competition, being played in Worcester, has also been introduced. The favourites to win the first edition will be the Caledonians, the Scottish National squad, who feature the 44-year-old Perth solicitor Alison Ramsay making her indoor debut. Ramsay, who played for Great Britain in the Seoul and Barcelona Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 1992, has previously notched up some 257 outdoor caps.

Surbiton, who will be making their debut in the Premier Division of the Higgins League next week, are this weekend in Vienna at the Johann Koller Cup having last weekend travelled to Aachen in Germany for a training weekend and a series of practice games.

With German international Stefan Saliger and fellow countryman Dominik Weiss, Surbiton are confident of success.