Brogdon has an eye on world and domestic domination

Croydon Guardian: Up for glory: Ali Brogdon will be in the three Lions of England when the World Hockey League starts on Friday            Picture: David Kissman Up for glory: Ali Brogdon will be in the three Lions of England when the World Hockey League starts on Friday Picture: David Kissman

Ali Brogdon is swapping his Wimbledon Hockey Club shirt for the three lions of England to take on the best in the world.

With clubmates Henry Weir, Michael Hoare and Phil Roper, Brogdon is part of the England squad going for glory in the finals of the World Hockey League.

The action, which takes place in New Dehli, India, starts tomorrow [Friday] with England facing a baptism of fire when they take on the hosts.

Life gets no easier when England’s pool matches continue on Saturday against Germany, the current Olympic champions, and then New Zealand on Monday.

But 26-year-old Brogdon is an experienced campaigner with 73 international caps and a European Championship title under his belt.

The former Beeston forward said: “The World Hockey League is a relatively new tournament and it is going to be a tough week, but international hockey in this country has really grown over the past few years.

“It had been growing prior to the Olympics in London with the men winning the Euros in 2009.

“Then with the women’s bronze in 2012, the overall standard has picked up and lot more people are getting involved in the sport.”

He added: “We go to India in confident mood, and I am really looking forward to the challenge.”

Wimbledon were facing a challenge in the MHL Premier Division after a poor start to the season.

However, Brogdon, a summer arrival from Waterloo Ducks in Belgium, has been instrumental in a turnaround in form that saw Wimbledon win five consecutive games in the run up to Christmas.

And when the domestic season resumes on February 8, a win over Surbiton would see Brogdon’s side climb above their neighbours into fourth.

“It was always going to be difficult with the new faces coming in at the start of the season, and starting the season playing the very top sides,” he said.

“But we are starting to gel as a group and we obviously have a lot of top quality players in a really strong squad.

“Coming in as a new club to the Premier League can be difficult, but with the strength of players we have, our aim was to finish in the top five, and now it is a big push to make the play offs for the end of the year, get into that fourth spot.

“It was always going to be difficult with the new faces coming in at the start of the season, and starting the season playing the very top sides,” he said.

Croydon Guardian:

Club and country: Henry Weir will be joining his Dons team-mate in India

“But we are starting to gel as a group and we obviously have a lot of top quality players in a really strong squad.

“Coming in as a new club to the Premier League can be difficult, but with the strength of players we have, our aim was to finish in the top five, and now it is a big push to make the play offs for the end of the year, get into that fourth spot.

“It looks like it will be a tussle between us and Surbiton. It’s good to have a little bit of local rivalry – and this is a huge game.

“Win, we go above them, lose, they go five points clear of us.”

He added: “I have come into some good form over the past four or five games, and it is good to pick up some goals.

“Hopefully I can take that into the World League, score more out there and then get into the second half of the season.”

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