A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

England selection

Congratulations to Nick Bandurak and Ollie Payne who have both been selected in England’s first-ever FIH Pro League squad.

Bandurak is one of seven players who could make his international debut against Spain in the first round of the 2021/22 Pro League season, in which England replace Great Britain.

Holcombe Director of Hockey Barry Middleton will also act as an assistant coach for the Pro League fixtures and at Bisham Abbey for training through till May 2022.

Five of GB’s Tokyo 2020 squad were unavailable for selection, with seven members of the travelling 18 selected – including former Holcombe player David Ames.

England’s first match against Spain will take place at 10:00 GMT on Friday 4 February, with the second game following the next day at 12:00 GMT. Both will be shown live on BT Sport.

Interim head coach Zak Jones told England Hockey: “It has been an interesting start to 2022 and a challenging period for the squad but, to their credit, they have really taken ownership and responsibility for the situation and in moving things forward positively. 

“Following on from a very productive trip to Cadiz as Great Britain, both the athletes and staff are incredibly excited to be back in Spain to begin England’s 2022 Pro League campaign. 

“I am pleased with where we are as a collective. As a group, we have made some good strides forward over the past couple of weeks and we will look to continue our development and learning on that upward trajectory through these two fixtures.

“There is a good balance to this squad, with a nice blend of youth and experience. I know they are all very much looking forward to the challenge that these games will present and getting onto the front foot. This challenge presents the group with another fantastic opportunity to continue to grow and move forward. I feel that belief is building and I know that those selected will represent England with great pride, passion and humility.”

Graphic: England Hockey