Harrogate Hockey Club’s Gary Nash is hoping the blisters he picked up at the Olympic Park last weekend supporting Team GB, will have worn off by the time he starts his own campaign for glory.
Gary, who has played at England U-21s level, for National League side Cannock, Yorkshire and Harrogate, and who is the current Harrogate Men’s first team and junior coach, is representing England in the Masters Hockey World Cup from Monday.
The World Cup is being held in Canterbury over ten days and Gary, 46, has been training hard to justify his selection in the starting line-up.
Next week, he faces the might of Spain, USA and Australia. With the likes of Pakistan, Germany, and New Zealand in other groups, it should be an enthralling tournament.
Gary said: “Having experienced the hysteria of Team GB’s outstanding performance at the Olympics last weekend, I’m hoping some of that success will rub off on us.
“ Words can’t describe what it was like to be there watching so I can’t wait to represent my country playing at this level of hockey.
“I just wish I hadn’t done so much walking round the Olympic Park because blisters on my foot are causing me a few problems!”
Masters Hockey is played by anyone over the age of 35 by men and women throughout the country at club, regional and international level.
It is an expanding sport and the England Hockey Board is committed to further development.
Gary, a director of Emblazon in Harrogate which supplies school uniform, branded workwear and sportswear, can ill afford the time off work - in the busiest part of year but realised his England call-up was too good an opportunity to miss.
“The support of my family, friends and brilliant team at Emblazon has enabled me to be able to go and achieve one of my dreams and I am really grateful for that. I just hope I can reward them by getting to at least the semis as they can’t come and support me until thensomehow have to stay behind to man the fort!!” he said. “I’ll make sure I get them some England supporters polo shirts embroidered u
Gary, whose two children Hannah, 13, and son Thomas, 10, also play at Harrogate Hockey Club, has been in extra training with the England team and at a gym and will be keen to pass on his added knowledge when he returns to the club in his role as head coach in September.
He is one of only two Yorkshire players chosen for his country. The other being his old Yorkshire team mate Jon Bray from Rotherham.