England learn Hockey World League line-up
PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 April 2017
Ady Kerry / AK Pictures
2018 World Cup qualification on the line this summer
England’s men’s team now know the task ahead of them in this summer’s Hockey World League semi-final at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in Stratford.
And Bobby Crutchley’s side will have Argentina, Korea, Malaysia and China standing in their way as they bid for World Cup qualification.
The squad are in good spirits after a successful tour of South Africa last month and building momentum ahead of a huge summer of hockey and there are some huge matches in store, including a potential quarter-final against Scotland with World Cup qualification in store for the winner.
In order to qualify England need to finish fifth or higher in the tournament, which begins for the hosts against China on Thursday June 15 (8pm).
England faced China in 2015’s Hockey World League and earned a resounding 8-1 victory, so if they can repeat that type of scoreline they would start the tournament with great momentum.
Malaysia are their second opponents on Saturday June 17 (4pm) and will pose a tough challenge, having won their own World League 2 tournament last month.
They were third in the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy and it promises to be an exciting fixture in front of a big weekend crowd, as the session also features Scotland’s clash with Holland.
Undoubtedly the toughest test on paper comes against Rio gold medalists Argentina on Super Sunday June 18 (4pm), which also sees the great rivals India and Pakistan do battle in what is sure to create a cracking atmosphere on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
England’s final group game is against Korea on Tuesday June 20 (8pm) and sees them face a team disappointed to miss out on Olympic qualification last year.
Should they progress to the knockout phase, England would play their quarter-final on Thursday June 22, possibly against Scotland, with the winners securing a spot at the 2018 Hockey World Cup.
After that, the semi-finals take place on Saturday June 24, with the final a day later, and tickets are already on sale.
For England games, midweek tickets start at £7.50 for under-18s and £22 for adults, while for weekend sessions, tickets begin at £10 for under-18s and £30 adults.
All sessions include a minimum of two matches and England Hockey also plan to hold signing sessions with athletes from the the England and GB teams.