Surbiton add two GB internationals while Reading also make moves

© Frank Uijlenbroek

Surbiton Hockey Club have added two GB and England internationals to their roster already as they look forward to their return to the Euro Hockey League next season as English champions.

Luke Taylor and James Gall (pictured for Surbiton vs Oranje Zwart) will both link up with the club that stunned Wimbledon in the league final last month, coming from 3-0 down to eventually claim the title on a shoot-out

Taylor joins from Loughborough Students and brings with a powerful drag-flick and experience from the 2013 Under-21 Junior World Cup and was added to the GB central programme in January 2017.

Taylor said of his new club: “I am very excited about the prospect of working alongside Mark Pearn and Matt Jones again and with such a young and talented team that aren’t just looking to do big things domestically but also in Europe.

“Surbiton’s ambition is clear and for me, training and playing in such a warm family club environment is the perfect foundation to not only enjoy my hockey but develop and improve.”

Coach Mark Pearn added: “I have known Luke for many years since giving him his debut for East Grinstead as a promising 15 year-old with massive potential and I am looking forward to working with him again. Luke has developed into a powerful defender with an outstanding range of passes and his penalty corner threat will add another dimension to our attacking play.”

Soon after, Surbiton confirmed Gall will add to their panel from Beeston. They midfielder played for the club before going to university in Nottingham.

He won his first senior cap for England versus South Africa in March 2017 and was a member of the GB squad that won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final in Ipoh, Malaysia on 6th May 2017 – the first time GB or England had won this title since 1994.

He said of the move: “I’m incredibly excited about the potential of this young Surbiton side and really looking forward to joining up with the boys ahead of next season. However, my decision to re-join Surbiton goes way beyond the quality of the first team squad and I am very much looking forward to being a part of such a great, family orientated, club once again.”

Pearn, meanwhile, added: “It is great to see James returning to his home club next season and I cannot wait to see him link up with the talented group of players we have. James is exactly the type of attacking player we need to push this group forwards as we look to compete at the very highest level in Europe and retain our two National titles.”

Elsewhere, the moves are coming quick and fast with Lee Morton moving to Reading from Scottish champions Kelburne while Dan Kyriakides has also joined the club from Welsh winners Cardiff & Met.