League in shake-up as Eng­land go global

The Hockey Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By Claire Mid­dle­ton

THE Na­tional League is set for a com­plete over­haul as CEO Sally Mun­day con­firmed that Eng­land Hockey are to put their hands up to host and par­tic­i­pate in a new global tour­na­ment.

The In­ter­na­tional Hockey Fed­er­a­tion’s yet-tobe-named home and away league will run be­tween Jan­uary and June ev­ery year and that is go­ing to mean a re-draw for Eng­land’s premier do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion.

The al­ter­na­tive would be that na­tional play­ers could be un­avail­able for do­mes­tic du­ties dur­ing the sec­ond half of the tra­di­tional cam­paign.

Mun­day has been on the FIH’s work­ing party draw­ing up plans for the new event, which is set to start in Jan­uary 2019. How­ever, the par­tic­i­pat­ing teams are go­ing to be an­nounced as early as June next year.

In­vi­ta­tions have been sent to the world’s top 16 na­tions ask­ing for ap­pli­ca­tions to host and Mun­day con­firmed that Eng­land would be sub­mit­ting their pa­per­work, while ad­mit­ting there were ma­jor lo­cal ob­sta­cles to over­come.

She said: “We are re­ally ex­cited by it be­cause it has real po­ten­tial and we will cer­tainly be sub­mit­ting a reg­is­tra­tion of in­ter­est.

“It’s not with­out its chal­lenges and it will have a ma­jor im­pact on our clubs and the do­mes­tic sea­son but we think it is a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for our play­ers.”

The global tour­na­ment will re­place the cur­rent World League se­ries and Cham­pi­ons’ Tro­phy and the FIH say that be­tween seven and nine na­tions will be in­vited to par­tic­i­pate in each league.

A “spe­cially se­lected FIH

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