England women’s hockey head coach Danny Kerry says he is pleased his side will have not have to go straight into action the day after the opening ceremony of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games.
While the women’s hockey tournament in Delhi gets underway on Monday 4 October – the day after the opening ceremony – England do not face their first fixture until a day later on Tuesday 5 October.
England will open their account against Wales in the pool B game on that day, before taking on Canada the following day. They have no game on Thursday 7 October, face New Zealand on Friday 8 October and conclude their pool games against Malaysia on Saturday 9 October.
Kerry said “I’m glad we have avoided playing straight after the opening ceremony, managing that event and player fatigue can be critical.
“We will face an interesting mix of styles over the pool, with each team bringing different qualities. I look forward to how we prepare and execute on those challenges.”
He said he is confident the team’s preparations will help them in the games that take place in the hottest and most humid times of day.
“Two of our games will be in the hottest and most humid time of the day in Delhi,” he said. “I’m confident that our level of conditioning will allow us to overcome the climatic challenge despite hailing from an altogether different environment.
“Each of our opponents have been or will be involved in tough competition this year with Wales, Malaysia and Canada having competed in World Cup qualifiers, and New Zealand playing at the Champions Trophy and World Cup. Each game will bring its unique challenges.”
England have a busy summer ahead of the Commonwealth Games - they host the Samsung FIH Champions Trophy in Nottingham in July and the will contest the BDO World Cup in Argentina in September.
England’s women, who won bronze at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, will have to secure a top-two finish in the group to reach the semi-finals.
The draw, which was announced on Friday, kept them apart from Australia and India, the gold and silver medallists from Melbourne, who both feature in pool A, along with South Africa, Scotland and Trinidad & Tobago.
The England women’s hockey draw for Delhi and the knock-out games are as follows (all times are Delhi local times)
Tuesday 5 October
08:30, England v Wales
Wednesday 6 October
11:00, Canada v England

Friday 8 October
13:30, New Zealand v England
Saturday 9 October
14:00, England v Malaysia
Monday 11 October
Women 9-10, 08:30, 5th Women Pool A v 5th Women Pool B
Women semi-final, 11:00, 1st Women Pool A v 2nd Women Pool B
Women 5-6, 13:30, 3rd Women Pool A v 3rd Women Pool B
Women semi-final, 17:30, 1st Women Pool B v 2nd Women Pool A
Women 7-8, 20:00, 4th Women Pool A v 4th Women Pool B
Wednesday 13 October
Women, 10:30, Bronze Medal Match
Women, 13:00, Gold Medal Match
The 2010 Commonwealth Games take place in Delhi, India, from 3 to 14 October 2010. They will feature 17 sports - archery, aquatics (swimming, synchronised swimming & diving), athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, rugby 7s, shooting, squash, table tennis, tennis, weightlifting and wrestling. With the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Commonwealth Games England is entering a breath-taking four years of sport.

Commonwealth Games England (GCE) is the organisation responsible for selecting and organising England's team at the Commonwealth Games.   England finished second to Australia on the medal table at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games with 36 golds, 40 silvers and 34 bronzes.

Sport England is responsible for building the foundations of sporting success, by creating a world-leading community sport system of clubs, coaches, facilities and volunteers. Their focus is growing and sustaining the numbers of people taking part in sport and improving talent development to help more people excel.
For further information about England Hockey please go to www.englandhockey.co.uk
For further information about Commonwealth Games England please contact the Commonwealth Games England press office at Matchtight Ltd on 07765 071683 or 07831 755351 or see the CGE’s  website at www.weareengland.org <http://www.weareengland.org <http://www.weareengland.org> >