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Ireland's Hawkshaw 'excited' for England encounter

Ireland midfielder Sarah Hawkshaw says they must improve for the EuroHockey Pool C opener against England on Friday.

Both sides missed out on a semi-finals spot in Amsterdam and automatic qualification for the 2023 World Cup.

The winner of Pool C will secure the fifth available World Cup place.

"We are now really excited to push forward and play England - the motivation is there to take them on," said Hawkshaw.

Ireland's 1-1 draw with Spain on Wednesday ended their hopes of making the semi-finals for the first time.

The Irish carry their 1-0 win from the initial group stages against Scotland into the four-team pool while England also carry through three points courtesy of a 4-0 win over Italy.

It is the first time in 15 European Championships that England, who missed on on the semi-finals after drawing 1-1 with Belgium, have finished outside the top four.

"We have had a good few battles in the past few months against GB and most of the girls from that squad would be in the England squad and we have played some good hockey," added Hawkshaw.

"We do need to look at ourselves and our performance from that Spanish game. We need to to move the ball better.

"England are a good team, have a good defensive structure and work really hard. We have to move them and that comes from us, showing for the ball, giving good options and getting the ball to our high strikers."

BBC Sport

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