Reading's Somerset born GB and England defender Richard MantellNewly promoted University of Exeter begin their England Hockey League Men’s Premier Division campaign with a huge home fixture, against Reading today (University Sports Park, 12.30).

Reading – who finished fourth in the EHL last term – could possibly call upon a handful of internationals, some of whom helped England claim bronze in the recent EuroHockey championships, including Somerset star Richard Mantell.

Bridgwater born Mantell scored the opening goal in England’s bronze medal clinching 2-1 win over Belgium and is included in Reading's travelling squad today along with fellow GB and England international ace Jonty Clarke.

The home side include talismanic international Ian Haley, who helped South Africa beat Egypt 1-0 in the final of the Africa Cup Olympic Qualifier tournament at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo last Sunday.

Haley scored regularly throughout the week-long qualifying tournament for South Africa, who assured they will now feature in next summer’s Olympic tournament at London 2012.

In the Men's Conference West, Cheltenham start their campaign at home to newly promoted Davis Wood League champions Cardiff & UWIC (Balcarras School, 1230) while TeamBath Buccaneers host Bournville at the University of Bath Sports Training Village (1300).

In the frame: Somerset's GB and England star Richard Mantell (pictured).

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