The raft of post-Olympic changes at Bisham Abbey continues still a year later as England and Great Britain hockey today announced three co-captains to take the National teams forwards.
George Pinner, Phil Roper and Ian Sloan take up the armband as Barry Middleton steps aside after almost a decade in the role.
Widely regarded as one of the best and most consistent players in the world, Middleton will maintain his playing role but relinquishes the captaincy as England and Great Britain continue to look to youth ahead of this summers’ World League Semi-Finals in London.
Having shared the captaincy in England’s dramatic tournament victory at the Azlan Shah in Malaysia recently, the new leaders are not short of experience and hope to continue the great work of past 10 years from one of the games’ all-time greats.
Pinner (30) represents the most senior of the captains while Roper (25) and Sloan (23) offer a youthful exuberance in line with the plethora of new faces in the centralised programme since the end of last summer.
“It’s a huge honour to have been chosen to co-captain this team.”
After helping Wimbledon to reach Europe’s Final 4 for the first time in their history, Ian Sloan is excited at the opportunity to lead his country alongside his club-mate Phil Roper;
“Barry did an incredible job as captain and will be invaluable for the the three of us to learn from. This is an exciting new squad with a lot of potential and I’m very positive about the next few years.”
With the World League Semi-Finals to look forward to and World Cup qualification on the line at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre this June, England will be hoping that their new brand of leadership has an instant impact on the pitch against some of the best sides in the world.
Image Credit: GB Hockey & Twitter