With 10 days to go and the deadline of 30th May, the final date the Nations can send their team list to the FIH, some familiar and extraordinary European faces may be missing….

The changing face of communications has meant that possibly for the first time ever in hockey we are seeing into the minds of our elite players and their ups and downs. There have been hundreds of excited tweets from athletes who made the teams, but bear a thought for those who’s bodies have taken hits, have been overloaded, have broken under the intense training required to be at the top of your game in hockey! A smattering below gives us an insight into their thoughts, and also their future plans! They don’t give up, they learn to take the disappointments and they are all focused on getting back to the place that they want to be, on the pitch!

Lidewij Welten, Netherlands, voted top player at the recent EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in Den Bosch broke a bone in her hand yesterday at training on the World Cup pitch. The medical team of the Dutch team have not yet ruled her out, but with her unbelievable pace and skill, she would certainly be missed by the Oranje team! Her tweet yesterday ‘Not over until it’s over!!! Fingers crossed #hope #wontgiveup’ shows her determination.

Loïck Luypaert, the Belgian short corner expert has been ruled out following the need for surgery on his shoulder. His tweet on 19th “May Mayor disappointment to hear that I will need surgery on my shoulder. NO World Cup #nowords”, sums up the catastrophic nature of  elite sport. Marc Lammers, the Belgian coach has not named his replacement, so no doubt the reserves are working hard to impress and put their name on that golden ticket.

Mo Fuerste, the lion of the German team, who suffered a mayor injury and fought hard to work his way back to fitness, a battle that he lost in time for selection tweeted ‘NO World Cup for me  after a tough fight I wasn’t picked by the coach today! Big thank you to everyone who believed in me. I Never gave up!’

An finally Helen Richardson-Walsh who has blogged her way through back surgery. Her honesty in her efforts to get fit, her utter disappointment, but her dogged determination to keep going epitomizes what we expect from our players at this elite level. Her blog makes compelling reading, click here  ‘ Everyone loves a fairy tale ending; I was confident I’d get mine. The books and films that really grip you though are the ones that leave you wondering how it will end.’

 We can only wish them well, we know that the World Cup will be a little duller without these stars, but the nature of sport is bitter sweet, and missing these guys, gives another the space to shine! So good luck to those players selected, but watch your backs because those who missed out this time will be chomping at your heels for the EuroHockey Championships in London 2015 and beyond for Rio selection…..
Photograph of the World Cup (Reuters (c))