Team GB hockey star James Tindall has insisted axed team-mates Richard Alexander Ken Forbes still have a part to play in the squad’s success at the Olympics.
Surbiton Hockey Club’s Tindall, Rob Moore and Matt Daly were unveiled in the 16-man squad for the 2012 Games on Wednesday, along with Surbiton-based Ben Hawes, who plays for Wimbledon.
England internationals Alexander and Forbes – who also play for Surbiton – have long been a part of the 27-man Great Britain training squad, but were cut adrift from head coach Jason Lee’s plans this week, ahead of warm-up clashes with India, Holland and Spain next month.
“There are 27 players in the training squad, so it was always going to be difficult to cut that down,” said Tindall.
“Richard and Ken have missed out, but we all know it could have been anyone of us in their position. We are a strong squad and whoever was picked wouldn’t have changed that fact.
“We’ve got warm up games to come and hockey has a nasty habit of throwing up a few injuries, so the door is not closed to the others yet.
“We all have to keep working hard.”
The final 16 men have known for weeks that they have made the grade and Tindall admitted he found it hard to keep a secret prior to Wednesday’s announcement.
“We’ve all known for a while, but have had to keep it quiet, but with this announcement and seeing the Olympic torch, it is all becoming real now,” he added.
“We pick up our kit soon and that is when it will really hit home I guess.
“It is now a case of focussing on pulling on the shirt and performing to the best of our ability to achieve what we set out to do – win a medal.”
“The way we have progressed over the last four years suggests we should be there or thereabouts. Hopefully, we can keep it up.”
Kingston Grammar School teacher Daly has fought back from a succession of knee and hamstring injuries over the past two years to earn his place, while Tindall revealed his own chances of making the squad were touch and go.
“We played a tournament in Malaysia recently and I did my ankle. I thought ‘here we go’ but thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I thought,” he said.