Hockey: Crutchley left out of England's World Cup squad

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BOBBY CRUTCHLEY, the Cannock striker who has been the leading National League goalscorer for the past three seasons, has been omitted from the England World Cup squad announced yesterday.

Crutchley, in spite of being plagued by injuries this season, has scored 41 League goals but has not been able to satisfy the coach, Barry Dancer, over his fitness for a demanding event of seven games in 12 days. Crutchley's dedication to Cannock, for whom he has played when not fully fit, has probably cost him a World Cup place.

There have been surprising recalls for Duncan Woods and Jimmy Wallis who have benefited from Dancer's desire to give younger players the opportunity to develop.

Cannock's Chris Mayer and Kalbir Takher are two senior players who have missed out. Both members of the Great Britain Atlanta squad would have felt confident of selection.

Calum Giles, the specialist penalty corner striker, has been recalled but, with the forthcoming rule change of no substitutions after the award of a penalty corner, Giles' international career is likely to end after after 1 July. Giles, considered by the coach to be a world class performer in his specialist role, is much needed after England's poor conversion rate recently in Ipoh.

Following doubts about the fitness of second-choice goalkeeper David Luckes, Jimi Lewis has been named as an alternative, the final decision coming at the end of the training camp on 27 April. The side looks well- balanced with five having played in the Sydney World Cup four years ago.