Hockey: Wright debut as England go for youth

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The Independent Online
Lucilla Wright, Olton's 17-year- old striker, is set to make her international debut against the United States in England's opening match of the Five Nations Invitation Tournament which starts today in Vancouver.

Olton's inclusion in a squad containing five teenagers demonstrates the commitment to youth of the coach, Maggie Souyave, and her emphasis on attacking hockey.

"We must have the confidence to play a more attacking style, exhibiting high levels of fitness and skill," Souyave said.

Experience will be provided by the captain, Mandy Davies, and the 34- year-old Karen Brown, who will be winning her 250th outdoor cap out of 285 international appearances.

Brown is one of five players from the Great Britain squad who went to the Olympics in Atlanta. Surprisingly, the 26-year-old Joanne Mould will be making her first England appearance as one of six new caps.

A first cap also goes to Lisa Copeland, the 24-year-old defender who has made tremendous progress since last summer's move from Ipswich to champions Slough.

After cutting their teeth on the Americans, England encounter Canada, Japan and Ireland, who are all in England's group in the World Cup qualifying tournament in Harare, Zimbabwe, in August.

ENGLAND SQUAD (Five Nations Invitation Tournament, Vancouver): M Davies (capt), H Rose (Sutton Coldfield), S Blanks, K Bowden, P Muller, J Mould, C Voss (Leicester), K Brown, L Copeland, J Smith (Slough), J Empson (Canterbury), T Cullen, L Newcombe, C Reid (Hightown), L Wright (Olton), D Marsten-Smith (Clifton).

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