Hockey: Slocombe scents victory

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The Independent Online
'WE WILL play our usual brand of attacking hockey and I am confident we will win,' said the England coach Sue Slocombe, predicting the outcome of tomorrow's TyPhoo Tea Cup game between England and Spain at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium.

Slocombe, who watched Spain win the Olympic title in Terrassa, picked out for praise their inspirational goalkeeper, Maria Gonzalez, who, having retired after winning her gold medal, will be missing from the Birmingham line-up together with their Olympic captain Mercedes Coghen. Nevertheless, 11 Olympic gold medallists are expected to be in the squad.

Although Mary Nevill has retired, and Karen Brown and Jill Atkins are missing through injury, England will still have eight of Britain's bronze medallists in their line-up. It is the exciting prospect of seeing the experienced Olympic veterans playing alongside the young players who won the Home Countries Championship for England in Cork last April which thrills Slocombe.

'Our second string were so exciting in Ireland and to put Tina Cullen up front alongside Jane Sixsmith and Mandy Nicholls should give the Spanish defence plenty of problems,' she said.

Tammy Miller, who dislocated a shoulder in a practice match, returned to action last weekend in Clifton's surprise league victory at Chelmsford, and looks certain to be in the starting line-up.

ENGLAND SQUAD: Lister, Thompson, Dixon, Youngs (all Ipswich), Nicholls (Ealing), Bayliss, Sixsmith, Toon, Davies (all Sutton Coldfield), Johnson, Claxton (both Leicester), Cullen, Cook, Lee (all Hightown), Miller (Clifton), Wright (Slough).

SPAIN SQUAD: Piqueras (Olimpia), Dorado (C Campo), Ramirez, Barrio, Martinez , Rodriguez (all At. Madrid), Barea, Manrique, Gabellanes, Telleri, Mitchelena, Larzabal (all R Sociedad), Lopez, Olive, Maiques (all Junior), De Ignacio (CD Terrassa).

SCOTLAND SQUAD (Intercontinental Cup Qualifier, Olten, Switzerland, 12-18 October): Seaton, Hector (both Old Loughtonians), Mellor, McFarlane, Low, Middleton (all Grange), Cox (NMP Menzieshill), Doney, Freeland, Milne (all Gordonians), Fowler, Starling, Watkins (Kelburne), Zander (East Grinstead), Philp (Western), Shepherd (Torbrex Wanderers).