‘Great Britain can cope without hockey world-beater Ashley Jackson’

Captain Adam Dixon reckons Great Britain won’t miss the talismanic Ashley Jackson as much as they would have done in previous Olympic campaigns.

Jackson stepped away from the GB men’s programme for the second time last month, leaving Dixon as the sole survivor from England’s 2009 EuroHockey team, the last major success on the international stage garnered by England or GB.

While record goal-scorer Jackson’s decision to quit the programme may still be felt within the squad, Dixon believes the squad have the armoury to deal with the loss.

Dixon, set to play his last Games this summer, said: “Ashley Jackson has been one of the best hockey players in the world for what seems like forever.

“No doubt he is going to be a blow to our chances at the Games, what he brings, firstly with his experience. He is a terrific goal-scorer and just an all-around good guy.

“We are going to miss him but I should stress that over the last four years we’ve created such depth in the squad that someone like Ashley is maybe not missed as sorely as he perhaps would have been in the past. I think we’re in a good position as a squad.”

Great Britain were able to travel to Malaysia this month for matches and heat and humidity training.

They played five matches against the hosts and Japan over the last week ahead of some Pro League matches next month as preparations continue for Tokyo 2020.

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