England Masters call-ups for Kearsey and Long for Home Nations, World Cup events
- Credit: Archant
A couple of hockey players from Weston were celebrating being selected to play for England Masters in their upcoming Home Nations and World Cup in South Africa.
Matt Kearsey and Duncan Long were both named in the 22-man squad after three trials, however due to the Coronavirus pandemic, both tournaments have now been postponed.
“It is very disappointing after putting so much training and commitment into hockey this season,” said Kearsey.
“But on the other hand, it gives us more of a chance to prepare, bond as a team and we will look forward to next year, knowing that we got into the England squad, rather than this time last year when it was just a dream to make it to the Masters World Cup.
“It means everything as a sportsman to represent their country in something they love doing. Now we can give 100 per cent commitment and preparation for the event.”
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Kearsey, who plays hockey and cricket for Weston said it was a great feeling to line up alongside his childhood friend Long.
“I’m absolutely buzzing,” added Kearsey.
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“We were both waiting for the email to see if we got in or not.
“As soon as one of us received it we were going to contact the other.
“Duncan and I have had been playing hockey together since we were in our early teens, inspired by when Great Britain won Olympic gold in the 1988 Seoul Games.
“We both started at Broadoak School then joined Weston hockey club. Now we play for different clubs but in the same league, so we still have that friendly rivalry.”
As for Long, who missed out on selection for the national team in 2015 because of injury, he says being called up to represent England means a lot to him.
“It’s a really special moment,” said Long, who now plays for Clifton Robinsons.
“I’m very proud to be called up, especially as I tried for the under-40s five years ago and then injured my knee. I had an ACL operation, especially after that it’s good to get another chance.”
And Kearsey says the delay will only serve as an inspiration to do better than ever before when he gets the chance.
He said: “It inspires me more, as I’ve got more time to prepare, get in top shape and build more of a bond with the team, as we’re scattered out over the country.”