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Surbiton HC News

Surbiton Men Quintet’s Path Towards London 2012 … Matt Daly Selected for Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia

Surbiton’s Matt Daly is finally fit in time to definitely compete in the Olympic reckoning after six months out of club and international hockey.

The news came with the announcement this Monday (14 May) of Great Britain men’s hockey squad for the forthcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, starting on Friday week (25 May). The seven-team invitational tournament will be GB’s last competition ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London and Matt joins three of his England club mates – Richard Alexander, Rob Moore and James Tindall – among the 18 selected.

Daly hasn’t played competitive international hockey since late 2011. The 28-year-old forward last played for England at the EuroHockey Nations Championships in Monchengladbach last August, where he was part of the team that won the bronze medal, scoring against Ireland and the Netherlands. He subsequently played in a series of practice internationals before sustaining a knee injury prior to the Champions Trophy last December. The Beijing Olympian has an excellent scoring record that has so far seen him find the net 57 times in 142 England and GB appearances.

Speaking about Daly’s selection, Head Coach Jason Lee said: “It is great that Matt is back playing and potentially available for Olympic selection. Someone with his goal-scoring ability and history in international hockey should be very competitive if fit and able to come into form over the next couple of months. I’m sure he will be rusty to start with as he has only been back working with a stick and ball for a week after many months out.”

“It is likely that the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup will be used to complete the Olympic selection process, although our focus whilst there will be entirely on the team’s performance and the attempt to win the tournament.”

Although Surbiton’s fifth player in the current 27-strong GB training squad, Ken Forbes, was not selected for Malaysia, he is still in with a chance of playing at London 2012 since the final 16-man Team GB squad will not be selected until mid-June, with the hockey tournament itself starting on 30 July.

Seán Cotter

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