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Published: 00:00, 23 May 2014 |
Updated: 07:06, 23 May 2014
I’m looking forward to playing in my second World Cup, in the Netherlands at the end of the month, having been chosen as part of England’s 18-man squad last week.
Thankfully, the call-up process was a little more straightforward compared to Delhi four years ago.
On that occasion, I was only given about 12 hours’ notice, as I was a replacement and had a late phone call. I frantically packed and called North London Collegiate School – where I was teaching geography at the time – to request a three-week break from work... starting immediately!
This time around, with almost 70 England caps and the oldest in the group at 31, I am one of the more experienced members of the squad and grateful that I’ve had a little more time to sort out what I am taking!
There was relief that I had made the cut, too – partly because my mother had booked her tickets for the tournament in The Hague about two months ago.
Since the London Olympics in 2012, when we were beaten by Holland in our semi-final, about half of the squad has changed and the influx of younger players has certainly freshened things up.
We have adapted our style slightly, so we have more of a passing game and defensively, where I come in, we are trying to be much more secure because we know we have the individual talent to score goals.
We showed that in January’s World League finale in Delhi, when we conceded the fewest goals and came third. It may seem boring but it’s an important side to our game. I’d love lots of 1-0 wins but I’m not sure how exciting that would be for the supporters.
NOW: Pensions are one of the UK’s leading auto enrolment pension providers and the proud partner of England and Great Britain Men’s Hockey. Follow @NOWhockey or go www.nowpensions.com
Read the full column in Friday's Medway Messenger
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