Ipswich’s Harry Martin determined to overcome injury problems as England chase World Cup final place

Harry Martin

Harry Martin - Credit: Ady Kerry

Determined Harry Martin insists it will take more than a hamstring problem to prevent him from reaching the World Cup Final.

The former Ipswich School pupil played his part in England’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Belgium on Monday, which sealed second place in their group and set up a last-four encounter with host nation, the Netherlands.

That was despite battling with the injury which he picked up in England’s 2-0 victory against Malaysia last Thursday.

“I struggled through the Australia game and then got through the Belgium one, and I was probably only playing at about 80-85%,” said Martin.

“It was quite easy to play against Belgium because of their zonal approach and when we had the ball it was always quite easy to find space.

“Had it been a league game or a friendly international I would have probably sat it out, but this is the pinnacle, this is what you work towards, and it is going to take more than a hamstring injury to keep me off the pitch.”

Should England reach Sunday’s final there is a good chance they could once again face Australia, the world number one ranked team, who trounced Bobby Crutchley’s team 5-0 on Saturday.

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“Australia were always going to be strong in the group stages and we were just not at the races,” admitted Martin, whose team-mate, former Ipswich School pupil George Pinner, has been an ever-present in goal.

“You want to play your best in tournament hockey and we are hoping that in a medal game, with high stakes, we can pull it out of the bag.”

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