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Dixon targets Euro glory

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Newark’s hockey star Adam Dixon has already worked out how he plans to celebrate reaching 100 caps for England — with a World Cup winners medal around his neck, reports Pippa Field.

The 27-year-old is closing in on a century of appearances for his country, with the forthcoming World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, providing the perfect opportunity to reach the milestone.

Dixon has arrived at the tournament four caps shy of the landmark and hopes to make his 97th appearance for his country in the opening match on Saturday against Spain.

There are further Pool A games against India, Malaysia, reigning champions Australia and Belgium.

If Dixon wants to make it a double celebration, England will have to end a run that has seen the team fail to lift the trophy on 12 occasions since its introduction in 1971.

However, Dixon believes it won’t be unlucky 13 for England after their impressive showing at January’s Hockey League World Final, where they defeated world number one Australia to take bronze.

He said: “In the last six months we’ve beaten Germany, Belgium and Australia, some of the best teams in the world.

“With that in mind and with a good few months of preparation and training, we’re excited about our chances for the Netherlands.

“A few people have mentioned about me possibly getting 100 caps, which is a great thing. I wanted to play international hockey as soon as I started watching Olympic hockey on the TV as a youngster.

“I never thought I’d go on to make 100 caps for my country.

I’ve enjoyed it so far. If I could come away with a medal and go over 100 caps it would be a great tournament.

“We’ve got a good mix of experienced heads and energetic legs. It’s now about getting a good run of consistent games.

“Hopefully when it comes to the knockout games we’ll be on the money.”

The World Cup marks the start of a busy summer for England with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow beginning in late July.

Dixon was a member of the team four years ago that finished fourth after losing on penalties to New Zealand in the bronze medal match. He is determined to make amends.

“We’ve been working hard for a year with the World Cup and Commonwealth Games in mind,” Dixon said.

“You rarely have two tournaments of this magnitude so close together so it’s going to be a tricky period to manage.

“If we pick up a few injuries it could change the whole face of the squad.

“But preparation is going well and we’ve dealt with a lot of injuries.

“It’s a good group of mates working towards a common goal. The goal this summer is to get World Cup and Commonwealth success.”

NOW: Pensions is one of the UK’s leading auto-enrolment pension providers and a proud partner of England and Great Britain men’s hockey. Follow @NOWhockey or go to www.nowpensions.com

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