Captain's eyes on the world stage

PUBLISHED: 12:09 08 September 2006 | UPDATED: 22:12 28 May 2010

Glenn Kirkham believes that England can improve their world ranking in the World Cup in Germany

Glenn Kirkham believes that England can improve their world ranking in the World Cup in Germany

FORMER Long Sutton hockey player and now England men s hockey team co-captain, Glenn Kirkham, will be returning to Long Sutton Hockey Club to provide a special coaching session at the end of the month. However, before then Glenn has the small matter of le

FORMER Long Sutton hockey player and now England men's hockey team co-captain, Glenn Kirkham, will be returning to Long Sutton Hockey Club to provide a special coaching session at the end of the month.

However, before then Glenn has the small matter of leading the national side's challenge in the BDO Hockey World Cup, which got underway this week.

And Glenn, 23, believes that England are capable of reaching the later stages of the tournament in Germany. He said: "We have set the lads a target of finishing higher than their current ranking of 11th in the world.

"A top eight finish would be a good result and improve our world ranking by quite a lot."

The young England squad, with an average age of just under 25, have enjoyed encouraging results before the World Cup, and last month they narrowly lost 3-2 and drew 2-2 with Holland, the number two side in the world and winners of the Champions Trophy.

England have been drawn with Holland in the difficult Pool B group that also contains India, Germany, Korea and South Africa, and yesterday (Thursday) England began their World Cup campaign with their opening match against India.

Glenn regards this match as key in their bid to finish in the top two of the group and move in to the later stages. He said: "We have targeted the India and South Africa games as ones that we can win and we would hope to get at least four points from those two games."

He added: "We should get at least a draw from the Korea game but the Holland and Germany games will be tough and positive results from these two matches will be a bonus.

"We have always done quite well against Holland so the lads are confident that we can get something from them."

The World Cup will be the first major tournament in which Glenn has worn the captain's armband, and he admits that the experience of playing in Germany is his biggest challenge yet.

Glenn said: "When you play in front of crowds of 15,000 people you realise that this is the biggest tournament you can play in.

"We are a young side and some people will see us as underdogs but following our good results since the Commonwealth Games, England fans are expecting a lot of us."

He added: "The squad has been waiting for this moment for a long time. We are all buzzing and we just want to get out there and play."

Glenn, together with fellow co-captain Ben Hawes, will lead England out against Holland tomorrow (Saturday), before facing hosts Germany on Sunday. After a day's rest, England will play Korea on Tuesday and South Africa on Thursday.

- GLENN will be leading a hockey coaching session at Long Sutton Hockey Club on Sunday, September 24.

Training will run from 10am to 5pm and there will also be an open day at the club at the Peele Leisure Centre, Little London. For more information call Simon and Dawn Clarke on 01406 330634.

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