Hockey: Optimistic England
Thursday 28 August 1997
The teams meet this evening at Basingstoke in the first of their two Test series in the knowledge that England have not beaten their great rivals since winning 2-0 in Melbourne in 1985 with goals from Richard Dodds and Imran Sherwani.
England's optimism is based partly on the approach they showed in a training game against Southgate last Sunday, which they won 7-1 - new- found aggression paid dividends - and partly on the briefing their manager, David Whittle, and their coach, Dick Clarke, gave them after watching Tuesday evening's game in which Australia beat the England Under-21 side 3-1.
The new aggression largely follows the return of the Old Loughtonians pair, Julian Halls and Nick Thompson, in a very experienced squad.
Halls has returned from a spell in the Netherlands looking extremely fit and sharp in defence. Thompson added a new dimension to the attack with his bustling, shoot-on-sight style.
Australia, who flew in after finishing third in the Four Nations tournament in Hamburg at the weekend, have had their problems recently. Their new coach, Terry Walsh, is trying to find a balance between youth, and experience. His current squad includes 11 from their Olympic bronze medal squad.
ENGLAND (probable): D Luckes (East Grinstead); A Humphrey (Cannock), J Wyatt (Reading), J Halls (Old Loughtonians), G Fordham (Hounslow); B Sharpe (Cannock) J Pidcock (Cannock), B Waugh (Southgate); B Crutchley (Cannock), R Garcia, (HDM, capt), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes: S Mason (Reading), C Giles (Klein Zwitserland), D Woods (Southgate), D Hall (Guildford), C Mayer (Cannock).
AUSTRALIA (from): L Dreher, D Diletti, M York (capt), S Caruthers, G Corbitt, S Davies, J Duff, J Hiskins, J Elmer, B Garard, P Gaudoin, P Lewis, M Smith, J Stacy, D Sproule, D Wansbrough.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Luis Suarez
Malky Mackay texts: Harry Redknapp defends former Cardiff City manger - 'he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: SQL Developer (TSQL, S...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End UI/U...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C#.NET ...