Hockey: England test

NINETEEN Olympic medallists will line up at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, on Saturday 3 October as England's women, the European champions, entertain Spain, the Olympic gold medallists, at the new venue for England's showpiece international of the year for the TyPhoo Cup.

The All-England Hockey Association, which has decided to move the annual fixture away from the grass of Wembley to Birmingham's artificial surface, could not have wished for a greater attraction. Nine Olympic bronze medallists are in the England squad. The only players missing are the British captain, Mary Nevill, who has retired from internationals, and Slough's new captain, Karen Brown, who is still troubled with a back injury.

England's coach, Sue Slocombe, who saw Spain win the Olympic title, said: 'With the flair and potential of the players who were introduced into the England squad last year, plus the experience of the returning GB players, I am confident we will start our World Cup build-up with a win.'

With one or two of the Great Britain players unlikely to feature in the 1996 World Cup in Ireland, there must be some disappointment that room has not been found for players like Sam Wright, England's interim captain while Sandie Lister was on Great Britain duty, and the Under-21 goalkeeper, Carolyn Reid.

Missing from the Spanish squad are their Olympic captain, Mercedes Coghen, and the goalkeeper Maria Gonzalez, the heroine of their gold medal success.

ENGLAND: J Atkins (Bradford), L Bayliss, M Davies (nee Pickles), J Toon, J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), A Claxton, K Johnson (Leicester), T Miller (Clifton), V Dixon, S Lister (capt), L Youngs, J Thompson (Ipswich), C Cullen, F Lee (Hightown), M Nicholls (Ealing), J Smith (Chelmsford).

SPAIN: M Piqueras, N Dorado, V Ramirez, M Barea, S Manrique, N Gabellanes, B Larzabal, S Barrio, S Ignacia, L Lopez, G Larrinaga, M Telleria, I Mitchelena, N Oliver, A Maiques, M Martinez.

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