All eyes on the Olympics

PUBLISHED: 10:57 28 July 2006 | UPDATED: 22:00 28 May 2010

Former Long Sutton player Glenn Kirkham

Former Long Sutton player Glenn Kirkham

NEW England co-captain and former Long Sutton Hockey Club player, Glenn Kirkham believes that the London Olympics of 2012 could provide English hockey with a much-needed boost. Glenn, 23, has won more than 50 caps for his country and was awarded the co-ca

NEW England co-captain and former Long Sutton Hockey Club player, Glenn Kirkham believes that the London Olympics of 2012 could provide English hockey with a much-needed boost.

Glenn, 23, has won more than 50 caps for his country and was awarded the co-captaincy following England's two draws with Germany earlier this month.

He will share the responsibility for leading the team with Ben Hawes and this shared leadership marks a change in the team's approach, as Glenn explains: "After the Olympics it was decided that there should be more leaders within the team.

"I think that the national team and the sport in general were in a bit of a lull and we needed to change things around."

He added: "The Australians use the co-captaincy system and I think that it could have a positive effect in inspiring the players and lifting the team as a whole."

Glenn also believes that the young England team, ranked 11th in the world, has shown signs that they are destined for greater achievements in the future. He said: "The average age of the team must be around 22 or 23 years old and that bodes well for the future.

"We have picked up good results recently and in the Commonwealth Games we were disappointed to lose to Malaysia, particularly as we beat New Zealand and only lost to Pakistan on a golden goal."

He added: "The World Cup begins in just a few weeks' time and I would be satisfied with a finish in the top eight, although we will be aiming as high as we can."

However, Glenn has already set his sights on the Olympics in Beijing and the London Olympics of 2012.

He said: "Many of the players will be in their prime in 2012 and we are aiming to be in the world's top four by then. A lot will depend on the sport continuing to attract funding and sponsorship."

Glenn, who is originally from Alford and now plays for East Grinstead, played for Long Sutton for four years from 1996 when he appeared for the under-15 team.

On Saturday, September 24, Glenn will be returning to the Peele Leisure Centre, in Long Sutton, to pass on his experience to young players. The full-day coaching session for girls and boys will be split in to various age groups and Glenn is looking forward to it.

He said: "I don't get back to Long Sutton very often now but the coaching session will be a lot of fun and it will give children the chance to work on basic hockey skills.

- For more information on the coaching day contact Simon or Dawn Clarke on 01406 330634.

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