Fareham have pulled off a major coup by signing former Great Britain Olympian Richard Mantell, who will make his debut in Sunday’s England Hockey Western Conference visit to Team Bath Buccaneers, 1pm.
The 37-year old had intended to hang up his stick after a trophy laden 15-year career with Reading, but head coach Ben Barnes wasted no time in talking his old team-mate into joining Fareham directly Mantell relocated to Lymington.
A penalty corner specialist, Martell was part of the England teams that won European gold in 2009 and bronze in 2011.
He represented England at two World Cups and the 2010 Commonwealth Games, as well as appearing for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics. He made his international debut in February 2003 at the age of 21 and went on to win 165 outdoor caps for England and Great Britain, scoring 68 goals.
No-one can disguise a slider pass as Mantell can, and his drag flicks at short corners have put the fear of god into many a National League goalkeeper and defence line.
An excited Barnes said: “It’s great to have Richard on board. Something I had hoped would happen as he is not only such a high quality player but someone who I think will add more than just that to the Fareham group.
“Now for it to be a reality is very exciting, as it has given the group not only a lift but added to the competition for places.
“Having played together at Reading and even in his first England international I know how enjoyable it is to play with him.
“A dangerous passer and obvious penalty corner threat are easy talking points, but his experience and reading of the game will add to our group’s threat and increase confidence across the whole squad.
“He will slot in the squad really well and play his part in our ambition to move up the Western Conference table each week.
“We’ve got to learn quickly to find our best squad and balance of players as Richard, Matt Ramsay and the former Havant player Adam Broomfield add different qualities to the group.”
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