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Hockey: New captaincy structure for England ahead of Hockey World League Semi-final in at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 May 2017

Phil Roper, George Pinner and Ian Sloane will captain England at the Hockey World League Semi-Final (pic: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for GB Hockey)

Phil Roper, George Pinner and Ian Sloane will captain England at the Hockey World League Semi-Final (pic: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images for GB Hockey)

2017 Getty Images

Hosts to be led by three-man team on pitch this summer

Great Britain and England Hockey have announced a new captaincy structure for the men’s international teams, naming a three-man captaincy group of George Pinner, Phil Roper and Ian Sloan.

With all-time leading cap holder Barry Middleton making the personal decision to step aside from captaincy after the best part of a decade at the helm, Pinner, Roper and Sloan were voted in by their fellow internationals.

Head coach Bobby Crutchley is evolving the performance environment with a completely revised leadership and captaincy structure, and there was a strong desire across the players and staff to have greater levels of player accountability, responsibility and shared ownership.

The new structure has already been successful when put in place for the Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy in Malaysia, when Crutchley’s GB team became the first British side to win the trophy in 23 years, defeating Australia in the final.

With the Men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final in London next month, the first challenge is a significant one - to qualify for the World Cup.

The tournament from 15 to 25 June takes place at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, and features England, Scotland, Olympic champions Argentina, Holland, India & Pakistan to name a few.

World Cup qualification is a key goal and the athletes will be looking to perform at their best in front of London crowds.

“I would like to wish George, Phil and Ian the very best of luck and of course I would also like to thank Barry for his leadership and captaincy over the years,” said Crutchley.

“We are very fortunate to have him with us as one of the best players in the world, and I know his leadership qualities will be as prevalent as ever.”

Pinner, Roper and Sloan are now aiming to be a key part of the England squad that takes part in the Hockey World League Semi-Final.

World Cup qualification is at stake, and with England and Scotland both taking on some of the world’s best teams, it’s certain to be another memorable event at the home of hockey.

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