Hockey: Hounslow rely on Knapp to counter Osborn: Double champions aim to close down record-breaking scorer as the League season opens

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The Independent Online
DAVID KNAPP, the former Guildford striker, is Hounslow's latest Welsh international recruit. He is expected to line up on the left as the double champions set off in search of another title on the opening day of the PizzaExpress National League season tomorrow against newly promoted Reading at Birmingham University, writes Bill Colwill.

Reading's captain and leading National League goalscorer, Paddy Osborn, will be watched with interest. All but four of his record 107 League goals have been scored in the Second Division.

The day's top game will be Teddington's visit to Southgate, where both clubs will be fielding several new faces. Southgate include the Australian Andy Minson, from Oxford University, and Pietro Attala from Canterbury, plus Grant Peters, the son of the former West Ham and England footballer Martin Peters, as one of their two goalkeepers. Missing will be England's Under-21 captain, Bill Waugh, who has been taking time off since last month's World Cup.

Simon Nicklin (Slough) and Peter Gibbins (St Albans), who featured in the World Cup, will make their League debut for Teddington. Two other former Slough players, Paul Way and Jon Clark, are in the squad. The full-back Stuart Blan returns after missing out on last season's world tour but his partner Mark Riley is injured.

Buckinghamshire, twice county champions in the early 1980s, have withdrawn from this year's tournament because of the unsatisfactory format and the devaluation of the competition. This follows Hertfordshire's withdrawal last season.

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