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Sussex hockey players named in Commonwealth Games squads
Four East Grinstead players have been named in England’s men’s and women’s squads for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
And there is also a first international call-up for Holcombe forward Lucy Wood, from Horsham.
Wood, 20, has been named in the women’s squad alongside East Grinstead forward Sophie Bray but injury has ruled out Brighton-born Ashleigh Bull.
Grinstead trio Ashley Jackson, Mark Gleghorne and David Condon are all included in the men’s squad of 16 alongside Iain Lewers who recently left the Sussex club to join Holcombe.
There are nine Commonwealth Games first-timers in the men’s squad but still plenty of experience as the debutants include Gleghorne with 39 England caps and Condon with 47.
Jackson is the most experienced of the Grinstead trio, having won his 100th cap during the recent World Cup in the Netherlands. This will be his second Commonwealth Games.
England men will be looking to improve upon their fourth places at the last two Commonwealth Games, in Melbourne (2006) and Delhi four years ago.
Gleghorne said: “I’m delighted to be selected for the Commonwealth Games. It’s my first multi-sport event so I’m really looking forward to the experience and competing in such an environment.
“Hopefully we can produce the type of performances that will make it a successful and enjoyable Games.”
The men’s squad will be captained by former East Grinstead player Barry Middleton who is now the most capped England and Great Britain player of all time with 316 international appearances.
There are ten Commonwealth Games debutants in the women’s squad including Wood and Bray, who recently joined Grinstead after a spell in Holland.
Wood started her career at home-town club Horsham and has been selected on the back of a number of impressive performances for the England Development Squad as well as recent test matches against Wales where she scored four times.
England’s women claimed bronze in Delhi four years ago but finished a hugely disappointing 11th in the recent World Cup at The Hague.
They will be in pool B with Scotland, Australia, Malaysia and Wales while the men are also in pool B with Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand plus Trinidad and Tobago.
The Commonwealth Games start on July 23. Before that the men’s and women’s squads will compete in the Investec London Cup against Scotland, Ireland, Wales and South Africa from July 9-13.