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Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:15 UK

Reading & England captain Kate Walsh desperate for gold

Kate Walsh
Walsh (r) captains both the England and Great Britain Hockey sides

England's hockey captain Kate Walsh is looking to end her long wait for gold at the upcoming European Championships.

Despite an impressive career, the 31-year-old Reading player has failed to win a gold medal at the event.

But she told BBC Berkshire: "We've got four bronze medals in the last five championships, if we can break into the final we'll have made great strides.

"I've lost count of the bronze and silvers we've won, but I'd trade all of those for just one gold," she added.

The England women start the EuroHockey Nations Championships on Saturday against Belgium, and Walsh sees the tournament as a good opportunity to build on their recent progress.

England beat Australia twice in July to place fifth in the hockey Champions Trophy, with the victory ensuring automatic qualification into next year's tournament, which will be followed by the Olympic competition.

"If we can vie for the top spot I think we can show the world that we are here, and that we're knocking on the door," she continued.

Walsh also said that she believes England's improved performances are thanks to the training facilities the team now enjoy at the Bisham Abbey Centre.

"We're lucky to be able to train full-time at Bisham, the set up here is fantastic," she added.

"We have our pitch, our gym, our physios and our coaches here in one place since we became a centralised programme. If we'd had all that before I can just imagine how we'd have done," she added.

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see also
Reading now target Europe - Walsh
12 Apr 11 |  Hockey
Hockey on the BBC
17 Aug 07 |  Hockey
Crista Cullen's guide to hockey
07 Aug 08 |  Hockey
Basic rules of hockey
05 Oct 05 |  Hockey

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