By Pippa Field
Bromley hockey player Dan Shingles has promised to ramp up the goal celebrations if he scores on his world cup debut in The Hague next week.
The 27-year-old former Langley Park School for Boys pupil finally notched his first England goal at the 35th time of asking last week when he scored in the 2-2 Four Nations draw with Germany, a tournament which formed part of their world cup preparations.
Shingles, who joined the England programme two years ago, will be one of 11 players making their world cup debut in the Netherlands, with the action running from May 31 to June 15.
Four years ago the team missed out on the chance to claim bronze when they were edged out by this year’s hosts 4-3, while England have never previously lifted the trophy.
But Shingles, who will be looking to add to this international goal tally, believes the team can time their run to form to perfection.
“I’m sure there will be a few nerves closer to the time but at the moment I’m ecstatic and excited to get going,” said Shingles, who was also a history and P.E. teacher at Langley Park before becoming a full-time athlete.
“We are in a ready-to-bounce sort of mode at the minute, we haven’t quite hit peak form yet which is always good going into a competition, you don’t want to peak too early.
“It wasn’t exactly a worldly goal, a sort of right place, right time sort of thing but it took me about 35 caps I think which for a midfielder, defender is probably a little bit too slow.
“It was a great feeling, it’s always nice to score for your country and I’m hoping a few more might come from now on. I’ve scored a few for Reading this season but I play in a more advanced position.
“I haven’t got any celebrations planned yet, maybe a shirt off, lasso around the head is a good option or like a knee slide. I might just let the moment take me and see what happens.
“It’s a massive thing to be selected for probably the second biggest tournament you can play in as an international hockey player.”
England open their campaign against Spain on May 31 before further Pool A games against Belgium, India, Malaysia and reigning champions Australia.
Last January Shingles and the team got the edge over the world number one ranked Aussies when they beat them for bronze in the Hockey League world final, although he insists the challenges will be coming from all over in the Netherlands.
“It’s always great to play Australia, you play international hockey to pit yourself against the best in the world and there is no doubt they will be very tough,” added Shingles.
“There are a very fast attacking team, we have prepared ourselves well for that.
“But not just Australia, there will tough challenges all around, Belgium, Spain, India you never know what they are going to be like.
“So we are expecting a very tough group. That’s why you play, to play the best teams in the world.”
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