Hockey: Shaw given cup chance: England's double date with world champions

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND play Olympic champions Germany at Bisham Abbey today in the first of two games in the space of 24 hours as they continue their build-up programme for November's World Cup in Sydney.

With both teams having shown indifferent form in recent weeks the games will be a good opportunity to find cohesion, particularly for England, who have already announced 14 of their 16-man World Cup squad and depart to Malaysia at the end of the week for the Sultan Azlah Cup Five Nations Tournament in Penang.

Germany have yet to finalise their World Cup selection and with several senior players, among them the high scoring Andreas Becker, having indicated that they will not be available for Sydney, their team at Bisham is likely to rely heavily on the Under-21 squad which won the Junior World Cup in Barcelona last September.

John Shaw, the England captain, is likely to get his first chance to show whether he is on the way to regaining fitness after a knee operation and to stake his claim for one of those two remaining places. Andy Humprey has also yet to receive confirmation of his World Cup place but both are booked for Malaysia.

Coach David Whitaker has opted for experience but, on recent form, the squad lacks thrust. Much will depend on whether the Hounslow striker Bobby Crutchley, who has been scoring freely in practice games, can find his touch at this level. So far he has scored just twice in 12 international appearances.

ENGLAND SQUAD (v Germany, today): R Crutchley, S Hazlitt, J Potter (all Hounslow), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), A Humphrey (Hull), S Nicklin, J Laslett, P McGuire (Teddington), J Halls, N Thompson (Old Loughtonians), S Mason (Firebrands), J Shaw, Soma Singh (Southgate), D Luckes (East Grinstead), C Mayer (Crannock), D Williams (Havant).