Hockey: Campling complaint: England calls deplete leaders

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The Independent Online
THERE could be some surprise results in this weekend's National League programme as a result of the absence of key players with the England Indoor Squad in Cologne and the Under-18 Schools and Youth Indoor Divisional weekend.

Teddington, missing Jason Laslett and Phil McGuire in Germany and the Kingston Grammar schoolboy Renwick Irvine, will be pleased that Andy Billson is back in the squad after a hamstring injury for tomorrow's visit to St Albans.

Their manager Neil Campling said yesterday: 'I am somewhat annoyed by the absence of Laslett and McGuire. It is sad that there has been so little consultation and that postponement of important games is now virtually ruled out. It is important that we work out something for the future. We owe it to our sponsor and the League's sponsor to turn out the best possible sides.' This season at least three players, rather than one, must be absent on international duty before a postponement can be claimed.

Southgate and Havant, in second and third place respectively, are also seriously affected. Southgate visit Southampton to play Trojans without their captain John Shaw and the sweeper Soma Singh.

It has been a forgettable week for Havant's manager Chris Pickett. With Don Williams and Peter Nail in Germany, the internationals Sean Rowlands and Rob Hill unavailable and Stuart Avery stricken with tonsilitis, team selection would have been difficult enough but four other first-team players are doubtful with injuries, including the former Great Britain captain Dave Faulkner. For the long trip to Welton, they introduce the Zimbabwean Under-21 international Lawrance Kitsande.

Hounslow, the League champions and leaders, are more fortunate and have just Bob Crutchley away on international duty for their game this afternoon against Indian Gymkhana. In today's only other League game Canterbury visit East Grinstead, who will be missing the goalkeeper David Luckes.