Hockey: Reading's new faces: Opening day of National League

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The Independent Online
WAYNE GRAHAM, South Africa's captain, lines up with the New Zealander Grant Edwards and the Spain Under-21 international Pablo Villar in a powerful new midfield for Reading as they open their First Division campaign in the National League tomorrow away to Bournville at Birmingham University, writes Bill Colwill. Reading's new captain, Jon Wyatt, moves back to sweeper to replace Charlie Oscroft.

The defending champions, Havant, at home to Stourport, have England's newest international, Jimmy Lewis, in goal at the expense of the Olympic goalkeeper, Sean Rowlands, in a young side led by their new captain, Peter Nail.

A third new captain, Rob Thompson, leads Hounslow, who include new signings Mark Kirkland, the Slough captain last season, and David Main, from Hull, for their game against Slough. Rick Charlesworth takes over the reins at Slough, with Manjit Flora returning to his old club as coach.

The day's most interesting match could be at Surbiton where the home side tackle their neighbours, Guildford, in the battle of the First Division's two promoted teams. Lt Piers Gorman, from Slough, lines up in the Surbiton midfield alongside Maj Ian Jolley, while Guildford have recruited Graham Cartmell and Neil Powell from the Services, along with Oxford's Richard Markham to start their campaign.

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