Just 42 days after making their senior international debuts, Zach Wallace and Jack Waller have been named in Danny Kerry’s England World Cup squad. The duo, who impressed during the recent Anniversary Internationals against Belgium form part of an 18-strong squad in which 13 players will be competing in their first World Cup.
Wallace plays his club hockey for Surbiton and has seven international caps (five England, two Great Britain.) The 18-year-old has enjoyed a meteoric rise under Kerry. He has impressed for Surbiton in the Premier Division and has taken the chance given to him at international level with both hands.
Waller, who plays for Wimbledon has captained his country at U21 level, and played in a Junior World Cup as well as winning the prestigious Sultan of Johor Cup. He has eight senior international caps to his name.
At the other end of the scale, Barry Middleton will feature in his fourth World Cup campaign. His first appearance in the competition came way back in 2006. Middleton, a legend of England and Great Britain Hockey will add to his record 425 international caps as he closes in on Teun de Nooijer’s world record of 453.
Kerry, who presided over England Women’s World Cup campaign earlier in the year before taking over the men’s side, said:
“The athletes have been working hard and embracing new ideas over the last eight weeks in the build up to World Cup selection and we could not have asked more from the team in terms of attitude and application.”
The tournament starts on 28 November and pits England against China, Australia and Ireland. Three different challenges which Kerry is relishing:
“We understand the challenge our pool represents and will have to be at our very best to progress to the latter rounds of the tournament.
“We realise that many teams will start favourites ahead of us, we also know we are capable of threatening all teams.”
England have finished fourth in the last two editions of the tournament – at The Hague in 2014 and at Delhi in 2010 – but will be aiming to get themselves onto the podium and claim their first World Cup medal since 1986.
George Pinner (Holcombe)
Harry Gibson (Surbiton)
Adam Dixon (Beeston)
Liam Sanford (Reading)
Mark Gleghorne (Beeston)
Jack Waller (Wimbledon)
Michael Hoare (Wimbledon)
Luke Taylor (Surbiton)
Harry Martin (Hampstead & Westminster)
David Ames (Holcombe)
Ian Sloan (Wimbledon)
Barry Middleton (Holcombe)
Zach Wallace (Surbiton)
James Gall (Surbiton)
Phil Roper (Wimbledon)
David Condon (East Grinstead)
Will Calnan (Hampstead & Westminster)
Sam Ward (Old Georgians)
Brendan Creed (Surbiton)
Rhys Smith (East Grinstead)
Fri 30 Nov – England v China – 1.30pm GMT
Tue 4 Dec – England v Australia – 11.30am GMT
Fri 7 Dec – England v Ireland – 1.30pm GMT
Mon 10 Dec – Possible Crossover – 11.15am or 1.30pm GMT
Wed 12 Dec – Possible Quarter-Final – 11.15am or 1.30pm GMT
Sat 15 Dec – Possible Semi-Final – 10.30am or 1pm GMT
Sun 16 Dec – Possible 3rd-4th Play-Off – Final – 11am or 1.30pm GM