Hockey: England call Bell to boost attack

Click to follow
The Independent Online
JOHN BELL, the Brooklands striker, is the surprise choice in the England squad announced yesterday for the European Cup in Italy at the beginning of September and next month's Four Nations Tournament at Milton Keynes.

Bell, who was 25 last Saturday, played for England at Under-18 level. He is one of only two changes from the side which finished fifth last month in the elite Champions Trophy in Brisbane.

With Duncan Woods ruled out because of a respiratory illness suffered in Brisbane, army doctor Guy Fordham, who was not available for Brisbane, was the obvious replacement, although coach Barry Dancer has indicated that Fordham will play as a striker.

Bell, who has been impressive during training, comes in for Cannock's Bobby Crutchley in an effort to add some goalscoring punch. Crutchley has netted just 22 goals in 79 appearances at international level in comparison with his National League total of 204, a competition in which he has led the way for the past four years. Last season Crutchley scored 37 compared to Bell's 11, but his omission probably signals the end of his England career.

There are still doubts about the fitness of Julian Halls, who broke his hand in the first game in Brisbane, and Reading's Robert Todd has been placed on standby.

Dancer said: "The team remains similar to the Champions Trophy team that played in Brisbane last month. The experience of that tournament and a more comprehensive squad preparation over the next six weeks will provide a strong foundation for success at the European."

The Welsh squad shows seven changes from the Commonwealth Games, with Zac Jones replacing David Hacker as captain.

ENGLAND: B Waugh (Southgate, capt), C Giles (Surbiton), B Garrard, J Wallis (Teddington), M Johnson, A Humphrey, B Sharpe, J Halls (Cannock), R Garcia (Harvestehuder, Hamburg), J Wyatt, S Mason, M Pearn (Reading), T Bertram (Bournville), G Fordham (Hounslow), D Hall (Guildford), S Head, D Luckes (East Grinstead), J Bell (Brooklands).

WALES: Z Jones (Hounslow, capt), W Abdo (Hounslow), P Edwards, C Ashcroft (Cannock), A Carruthers, D Hacker (Canterbury), A Colclough (Teddington), J Davies-Yendle (Loughborough Students), G Egan, S Organ (Bournville), A Grimes (Southgate), M Hannon (Swansea), G Harris (Whitchurch), R Joyce (Reading), S Owen (Lewes), K Priday (Guildford), J Westerman (Stourport), M Williamson (Maidenhead).