King's Lynn quartet to represent England at Nations Cup
Four current and three former King’s Lynn Rink Hockey players make up seven of the nine players selected to represent England at the upcoming Union of European Roller Hockey Nations Cup.
Taking place between March 2 and 5, in Valkenswaard, Netherlands, the Nations Cup is in its inaugural year and, in featuring competition from the likes of Switzerland, Germany, and Andorra, will prove to be an effective test in determining England’s chances at the World Roller Games later on in the autumn.
Among those selected, Josh Taylor (captain), Jack Tucker, Owen Norris and Tom Allander all currently represent Lynn, who are five-time champions of the English Premier League, and have earned one win and one draw in their first two games of the 2021/22 season.
In addition, Sam Kay (Middlesbrough), Matthew Baker (Mealhada, Portugal), and Will Martin (CP Congrés, Spain) have been selected, all of whom represented the club at youth levels and have won multiple Premier Leagues in Norfolk.
Baker’s Mealhada team mates, Ben Oldroyd and Cole O’Donovan, both formerly of Grimsby RHC, make up the remainder.
New faces in the team this year are Martin, Oldroyd and O’Donovan, all of whom are making their first senior appearance for the national side, and former England captain Kay returns to international competition after impressing at club level.
The tournament will be challenging for the squad, which has not played since the 2019 World Roller Games in Barcelona, but the absence of professional nations such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and France should be a source of optimism.
With four members of the squad also now playing abroad, England appear to be one of the stronger nations in this year’s tournament, and a strong display will inspire confidence going into the World Roller Games in October and November.