Cardiff & Met 1st team captain Luke Hawker, goalkeeper James Fortnam, Rhys Gowman, Alf Dinnie and Jacob Draper have all been selected to represent Wales at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in April. 18-year-old centre back Ioan Wall has also been named as a travelling reserve and will remain on standby until the tournament begins.
The 18 man Wales squad also contains 7 former Cardiff & Met players including Dan Kyriakides, who recently became the first Welsh player to represent Great Britain for a number of years and youth system graduate Dale Hutchinson. Assistant Men’s coach Danny Newcombe & Video Analyst Matt Mills both studied at Cardiff Met and represented the club meaning that over 50% of the squad and support staff have been through the Cardiff Met university or club system!
Rhys Gowman will play in his second Commonwealth Games after being part of the squad at Glasgow 2014, a fine achievement after only recently returning from a 15 month layoff due to a serious knee injury. Alf Dinnie will also be going to his second Games, his first in a playing capacity, after working at Glasgow 2014 as a volunteer, even filling the ice baths for the Wales squad! Alf is currently finishing a Masters degree at Cardiff Met and has also taken on the role of Ladies Performance Coach this season.
University Director of Hockey and lecturer Luke Hawker will co-captain the Wales squad in Australia after also taking on the leadership reins for Cardiff & Met 1st team this year. They currently sit in second place in the league and hot on the heels of leaders the University of Exeter.
Goalkeeper James Fortnam and midfielder Jacob Draper will be travelling to their first Commonwealth Games after impressing for both Cardiff & Met and Wales over the last couple of years. For youth system product Draper, who recently travelled to the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia with the Great Britain U23 squad, it caps off an excellent two years in which he has become an integral part of the club and international set ups.
Wales open their Commonwealth Games on 5th April, where they take on Pakistan. They will also play fellow group teams England, Malaysia and India.