Dan Fox insists he will relish taking on captaincy duties for the forthcoming World Hockey League Final and believes his Great Britain side are more than capable to trouble the best in the business despite a number of key absentees.
Fox has been named captain by head coach Bobby Crutchley in the absence on long-serving talisman Barry Middleton, who is rested for the tournament in India which gets underway next Friday.
Middleton is one of several high profile players who have been left out along with all-time leading scorer Ashley Jackson, keeper George Pinner, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne and Iain Lewers.
With next year’s Olympics in Rio on the horizon, it does however give other players the opportunity to step up and prove their worth.
And Fox, who made his debut back in 2009 and won Commonwealth Games bronze last summer, insists he has no plans on replacing Middleton long term despite it being a special moment for him to captain his country again.
“For me, it’s a really proud moment to be asked to be captain. Playing for your country is always really special so to be captain as well is something else.
“Barry is a fantastic captain. I’ve done it the odd time previous, probably about three times over the last couple of years having started in the set up six or seven years ago.
“I’m actually older than Barry so it’s not something I see myself doing long term, he’s the captain and he’ll be the captain for a good while yet.
“But it’s a good opportunity for me to step up in his absence.
“I’d like to think I’ll be calm and inclusive. I’ve been in the team for a long time so I’m not short of experience. I hope I’ll be a calming presence to the guys.
“But it’s not just me, there’s a lot of leaders in the squad and other people will step up too in the tournament I’m sure.”
Great Britain have been drawn alongside Canada, Australia and Belgium in Pool A while Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands and hosts India make up the other pool.
Fox’s Great Britain side take on Canada on Saturday and he was predicting a tight battle between the world’s best teams.
“It will be a challenge but at the same time it’s a good opportunity to see how the whole squad is ahead of the Olympic year. It’s a chance for people to prove themselves,” he added.
“We are definitely looking to be competitive. The World League Final has the best eight teams in the world there so it’s a chance for us to put in performances again the best.”
© Sportsbeat 2015