Hockey: Wright named in England indoor side

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The Independent Online
Sam Wright, who played her first competitive hockey of the season for Slough on Sunday in the Indoor League at Crystal Palace, has been selected by the national indoor coach, Pete Atwell, for England's team to defend their European title in Orense, Spain, over the weekend of 23- 25 January.

Wright is one of four players from the Slough club - Sue Knight, Mandy Nicholls and Sue Chandler are also included in the squad - who were in the team that won the gold medal in Scotland in 1995. Julia Robertson, a fifth Slough player, is also named.

With the England World Cup squad away in Australia, Wright is England's most senior player, having made 28 appearances. The 30-year-old's selection follows brief appearances of no more than six minutes each in Slough's two games at Crystal Palace.

With the exception of the Slough players, only Hightown's Michelle Liptrot, with two previous appearances, has played at senior indoor level. England's prospects will almost certainly rest on the corner-taking of Denise Marston- Smith.

From those in the original training squad, the third goalkeeper, Slough's Beccy Frater, has been omitted, as have Portishead's two 16-year-olds, Danny Barnes and Kathryn Bache.

England, although drawn in the same pool as Scotland with Lithuania and Slovakia completing the pool, have been fortunate to avoid Germany and Spain. Scotland, who announce their squad next weekend, are also handicapped by the training trip of their World Cup squad to San Diego.

ENGLAND SQUAD (European Indoor Championship, Spain, 23-25 Jan): S Chandler, S Knight, M Nicholls, J Robertson, S Wright (all Slough), J Green, K Roberts (Chelmsford), M Liptrot, D Marston-Smith, K Walsh (Hightown), I Palmer (Colwall), H Richardson (Sherwood).