Wimbledon Hockey Club’s Alastair Brogdon admits he fully expects England to be contention at the business end as he prepares for another shot at a World Cup medal in the Hague.
Never before have England managed to lift the World Cup – coming closest in 1986 when they lost to Australia in the final.
Brogdon formed part of the England team that fell 4-3 to this year’s hosts the Netherlands in Delhi four years ago and recent tournaments have also told a similar tale of near misses.
He featured in a bronze medal penalty shoot out loss to New Zealand at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but was not selected as Britain fell at the same stage to Australia at the London Olympics.
Brogdon now believes times are changing though – back in January England turned the tables on Australia to take World League Final bronze – and he is anticipating similar at the World Cup.
“We’re definitely looking to get into the semi-finals and get a medal from there,” said former Lymm High School pupil Brogdon – one of six players remaining from the 2010 World Cup team.
“We are pretty happy with where we are at the moment but there is probably a little bit more room for improvement.
“We’ve spoken about it and we want to be getting to semi-finals. We’ve missed out on medals in the past and it’s something we want to improve on now and really burst through that barrier and make the finals.
“We know where we are and where we want to get to and I think we will make that break through. It’s good now that we’ve had a good three tournaments under our belt and gelled together.
“I’ve been happy with how I’ve been playing recently and in the games leading up to the tournament and I’m just looking to carry that on.”
Brogdon and England open their campaign against Spain on May 31 before further Pool A games against India, Malaysia, reigning champions Australia and Belgium.
It is the start of a busy summer for England, with the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to come, although Brogdon sees it is a chance to showcase what he and the team can do.
“Short term, getting a medal at this tournament is definitely what I want to achieve,” he added.
“Then we go the Commonwealth Games after that so there are two great opportunities for us to medal and get into the semi-finals which is where we want to be getting in each tournament.
“Moving forward, there is obviously the Olympics on the horizon which I missed out on last time so I’m really keen to make sure I am there this time, and I’m filling in those gaps I missed out on.”
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