Hockey: Gibson to boost East Grinstead

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The Independent Online
LEADING CLUBS in England return to the outdoor game this weekend while in Scotland the Glasgow Indoor World Classic Tournament takes priority.

Today's rearranged Premier League fixture between East Grinstead and Reading at Saint Hill is crucial for both clubs.

East Grinstead, currently one off the bottom of the League, welcome the return of their goalscoring central striker, Richard Gibson, and Ireland's Under 21 international, Peter Bell, both of whom have been missing for most of the season. However, they still look likely to be without the England goalkeeper, David Luckes, who has still not fully recovered from a knee operation.

Reading, in sixth place, have signed a major sponsorship deal with Slazenger. They welcome back their English internationals, Jon Wyatt and Howard Hoskin, from a skiing holiday but will be without Mark Hoskin, who has signed for Guildford. Hoskin's move was prompted by his desire for a regular first-team place.

Sunday's fifth-round EHA Cup games will be affected by key absences to the indoor tournament in Glasgow.

Premier side Old Loughtonians, entertaining First Division leaders Doncaster, will be without their leading goalscorer, Scott Smith, who will be playing for Canada in Scotland. They will, however, be strengthened by the return of former England international Matt Sutton, back after missing the first half of the season.

Hounslow, who entertain Brooklands, will be without their Canadian goalkeeper Hari Kant and South African Steve Evans, who will also be playing for their countries. Also missing will be the captain, Guy Fordham, unable to get away from hospital duties. Simon Archer makes his first appearance of the season.

The former Southgate captain and Atlanta Olympian, Soma Singh, has decided to call it a day and will be missing from the line-up at home to non-League Northampton Saints. Southgate's latest recruit, the Australian international Max Diamond, has been named in their squad. Diamond has been out of favour with the Australian management since the 1996 Champions Trophy in Madras where he lined up alongside Southgate's present captain, Todd Williams.

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