Hockey: England ignore fresh faces

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The Independent Online
There is a tired look about the England squad for the six-nations tournament in Cairo at the beginning of November. Sadly, not only has the 22-year-old Guy Fordham been omitted, but no room has been found for any of the Under-21 squad who performed so well in taking fourth place in the World Junior Cup at Milton Keynes last month.

It would have been a wonderful opportunity to give a first full cap to Jon Ebsworth, voted goalkeeper of the junior event, to include the captain Brett Garrard, already a full international, and introduce Adrian Simons, England's leading goalscorer who was on form last Sunday with a hat-trick for Southgate against Teddington.

Fordham was also on form for Hounslow at the weekend, being the architect of their 6-1 win over Teddington, in addition to scoring twice. It could be he is being punished for a string of temporary suspensions for England. However, this season Fordham's behaviour and form for Hounslow have been exemplary.

With next year's World Cup in Utrecht barely six months away, a first- class opportunity to experiment has been wasted. Nine of the squad remain from the Atlanta Olympics and several hardly seem likely to be contenders for the World Cup.