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7 May 2009 | PR 09/50

World Cup awaits for Loughborough’s hockey eight

Eight Loughborough Students have been included England Hockey’s 18-man squad for the 2009 Men’s Junior World Cup in Singapore and Malaysia next month.

The young side, which has an average age of just under 19, will also play Germany’s U21 men in three fixtures this week (7-10 May) as their preparation for the competition in the Far East continues.

Loughborough is the best represented club in the team, with 20-year-old midfielder Nick Catlin the only athlete to have played senior international hockey, having made two appearances for Great Britain as part of the men’s training squad prior to the Beijing Olympics.

Catlin is joined by University team mates David Beckett, David Condon, Marc Edwards, Simon Faulkner, Chris Gregg, Martin Scanlon and Henry Weir – all of whom helped their GB team seal bronze at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January.

Rewarding a number of the players that helped England qualify for the Junior World Cup (JWC), England U21 and Loughborough head coach David Ralph has included nine of the team that finished fifth at the EuroHockey Junior Nations Championships last July.

Ralph speaks openly about the challenges his side will face, but underlines the tournament is an important stepping stone in the players’ international careers.

“The 2009 Junior World Cup will provide some major challenges for the squad,” he said. “Not only do we face some of the top 20 junior teams in the World but the physical demands of the tournament will be tough as well. A gruelling schedule means we face nine games in 14 days and the environmental conditions will be unlike any that the players
have experienced previously.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the players to experience a major global tournament in conditions similar to those frequently experienced by the senior teams.”

Talking about his team’s prospects in Singapore and Malaysia, Ralph is cautiously optimistic.

“While we are a very young squad and we face some tough challenges we are also very excited by this prospect and are confident that we have some exciting talent within the squad to compete at this level.”

England U21’s warm-up fixtures against Germany are being played at Bisham Abbey today (7 May) at 6pm, Saturday 9 May at 4pm and Sunday 10 May at 11am.

The side’s World Cup campaign starts on Sunday 7 June with group matches against hosts Malaysia, Spain, USA and Korea over the following five days.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sport PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

  1. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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