Leicester’s Sam Ward has been named in England’s squad to represent the country at the Euro Hockey Championships in Mönchengladbach later this month.
Currently England’s top goalscorer, Ward will be competing as an established international aiming to secure the team’s place on the biggest stage of all, with the EuroHockey Championships being the first opportunity for countries to qualify a place at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The winning country will secure their place at the Games next year with the next chance to qualify in January at the Olympic qualifiers.
The men’s squad have been drawn into Group A alongside Belgium, Spain and Austria. The team finished in second place in the recent invitational competition in Spain and have recently moved back to third in the world rankings.
Reflecting on his selection, now an experienced member of the team hoping to add to his impressive goal tally and most importantly, secure qualification to the Paris 2024 Olympics, Ward said:
“I am delighted to be selected for my fifth EuroHockey Championships, after an exciting trip to Spain in which the boys were performing well. That competition set a good foundation ready to head into the euros in a couple of weeks.
The opportunity to qualify for Paris is so important, we know as a team qualification can be really tough so to try and secure that early, and focus on preparing best we can would be huge for us. We have a great blend of old heads mixed in with some exciting young talent. Hopefully we can do something special.”
Sam’s Head Coach, Paul Revington, said: “I’m pleased to announce such a strong England team for the EuroHockey Championships. We’ve had some really promising performances over the last 12 months and I want to see the team continue that form and momentum in Germany.
“We will face top quality opposition again throughout the event, and I know this team will be excited to deal with each challenge they encounter throughout the tournament.”
The competition will place between August 18-27.
Visit https://eurohockey2023.com/ to find out more.