Hockey: No style change for Reading

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The Independent Online
READING, WHO surprised everyone by winning the National Indoor title last February, face strong opposition in their pool in the two-day DTZ Invitation Tournament which starts at two centres in the Midlands today. It will come from Southgate, masquerading as Dunton, another club who have not always taken the indoor game seriously.

Sadly, Eiko Rott, who was the pillar of Southgate's side which qualified for next weekend's preliminaries of the National Championship, will not be back from Germany in time.

Dunton, however, expect to include the Australian internationals Neil Hawgood and Todd Williams, Austrian Grant von Mayer and Trinidad's captain, Kwandane Browne. Their most influential player may still be home-grown Pietro Attala, who will not be available to them in the Nationals.

Reading see the DTZ event as the start of their campaign to put England back into the A Division of the European competition which they will aim to do in Prague at the end of February, but they seem unlikely to change their style of indoor hockey.

Their manager, Mike Webb, confirmed that they would have a full squad, adding: "We play as we play."

International opposition will come from the Vikings - the Danish national squad.

Olton and West Warwick, whose goalkeeper Carl Price collapsed and died during the Midland qualifier on 19 December, have decided to play as a mark of respect to his family and many friends in hockey.

The final stage of the qualifier, which was postponed when he collapsed, between Barford Tigers, Stourport, Leek and Loughborough Students will be held on Wednesday night at Lilleshall.

The Women's National Indoor League gets under way this weekend with Division One at East Grinstead and Division Two at Loughborough University.

n Gill Clarke, who umpired the World Cup final in the Netherlands in the summer, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.

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