COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Kirkham knows England have to like it hot
ONLY mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun - although given the choice Glenn Kirkham would certainly rather be in the shade.
RED HOT: Glenn Kirkham is aware that to thrive England's hockey team will have to like it hot at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi (Ady Kerry/England Hockey)
The England hockey midfielder is looking a programme that will certainly test fitness with an opening game against Trinidad and Tobago, scheduled for mid-afternoon and a tough encounter with South Africa slated for midday.
So it's little surprise both English teams have prepared for Delhi by spending time in a heat chamber at their Bisham Abbey training headquarters.
"The conditions are completely different to any tournament we've played in," said Kirkham.
"At the recent World Cup in Delhi we played in the late afternoon or early evening but here there are some games in the morning and at lunchtime.
"That kind of goes against our game because we like to play quick hockey, although we may have to make some tactical changes."
England have also been drawn in the same pool as Canada and New Zealand and following their fourth place finish at the World Cup, hopes will be high of winning a second Commonwealth medal, following their bronze in 1998.
Australia will be looking for their fourth consecutive gold but Kirkham is hoping India, who are drawn in the same pool as the gold medal favourites and other home nation Scotland, will shine.
"It's definitely one of the best stadiums in the world for hockey. We were lucky to be in the Indians' group at the World Cup in March and the atmosphere was incredible because the sport is so big here," he said.
"If they have a successful tournament, hopefully the supporters will continue to come and generate that atmosphere again.
"In the last couple of tournaments we have been up there competing for medals and it's the same again here.
"We obviously look at the Australians as the team to beat coming into the Games but we've had some success against them already this year."