England’s Middleton has sights on world caps record

Barry Middleton
Barry Middleton
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England’s Barry Middleton is set to play in his fourth World Cup as he closes in on the record for the most international caps.

The 34-year-old from Doncaster currently has 425 combined appearances for Great Britain and England, which is six short of the all-time record set by Holland’s double Olympic gold medallist Teun de Nooijer.

Should England get all the way to the final day in the tournament in Bhubaneswar in India, which starts later this month, Middleton would most likely set a new world record for appearances.

Middleton, who made his debut in 2003, is already a veteran of four Olympic Games and is set to add the same number of World Cups to his CV.

“There’s definitely a few more months in me,” said Middleton.

“As I’m getting older I take it a year at a time and see how my body is, listen to how it’s feeling, how I am mentally.

“For me it’s about getting to the World Cup and after we’ll see where everything is at.

“It would be great to make my fifth Olympics, it sounds nice when you say it like that” he added.

Beeston’s Adam Dixon is appearing at his third World Cup, while 13 of the 18-strong squad are making their debuts in the event.

“We understand the challenge our pool represents and will have to be at our very best to progress to the latter rounds of the tournament,” said head coach Danny Kerry, whose side face reigning champions and world No 1s Australia, Ireland and China in their pool.

He added: “We realise that many teams will start as favourites ahead of us, we also know we are capable of threatening all teams.”

Squad: Pinner, Ames, Middleton (Holcombe), Gibson, Taylor, Wallace, Gall (Surbiton), Dixon, Gleghorne (Beeston), Sanford (Reading), Waller, Hoare, Sloane, Roper (Wimbledon), Martin, Calnan (Hampstead & Westminster), Condon (East Grinstead), Ward (Old Georgians).