Wimbledon Hockey Club’s Michael Hoare and his England compatriots kick-off their Commonwealth Games campaign today [Thursday], and the defender can only see the positives for his club side.
Hoare is joined in the England ranks by Dons clubmates Henry Weir, Alastair Brogdon and Phil Roper.
While he admits club loyalties take a back seat in the interest of the country’s cause, the experience will still be only good news for Wimbledon.
He said: “It’s nice to have the lads in the squad, because of course we know eachother so well.
“But I also know the other England players, and my partnership in defence is with Iain Lewers of Holcombe, so club rules cannot count.”
He added: “But for Wimbledon, the more players we can get involved in the England set-up and centralised training, the better.
“And the more the four of us can pass back to the guys at the club, the better.
“Hopefully that will help to get Wimbledon higher up the league next year and possibly into Europe.”
England face Trinidad & Tobago, Malaysia, New Zealand and Canada in their group stage, and while Hoare is unwilling to look too far ahead, he has a target in mind.
“We need to get through the first game and then we have Malaysia and New Zealand and they will be key in making sure we reach the semi-finals.
“But you can only really focus on one game at a time, because if you don’t concentrate on the games against the so-called lesser teams, you can slip up or miss out on the crucial on goal difference.”
He added: “The England team is in the middle of a four-year cycle building towards Rio 2016, and realistically we want to make sure we reach the semi-finals.”
The 28-year-old has lots of big tournament experience having played in the European Championships, World Cup and World League, however, the Glasgow Games mark his first multi-event tournament.
“It will be great to see what people have talked about – like the guys in the team who were at London 2012,” he said.
“It will be nice to visualise what they are talking about when they talk about the amazing dining hall and the athletes village.
“But hockey wise, I cannot wait to get started.”