LONDON 2012: Lee unmoved as he feels the heat for leaving out old hand Mantell
STUART Pearce might be feeling the heat for snubbing David Beckham from his Olympic football team - but spare a thought for Great Britain hockey coach Jason Lee.
OUT: Richard Mantell has 164 caps - even more than David Beckham's 115 - and both will miss the London 2012 Olympics
Lee left star siblings Richard and Simon Mantell out of his 16-strong squad for the Games and then underlined his no-nonsense credentials by claiming he didn't feel sorry for them.
Simon's exclusion is probably no major surprise, after a recent broken foot hampered his season, but Richard has long been a regular - with 164 international caps and 68 goals to his name - football's Beckham can only muster 115 and 17 respectively.
"I feel quite fatherly towards all the players but I don't actually feel sorry for those who aren't selected," said Lee.
"There are certainly players in isolation who would consider themselves to be great players but it was actually how players combined together that we were trying to work towards for the final 16.
"It took us an awful long time to debate and without a doubt by the end of it there will be a lot of ifs, buts and maybes.
"But we can't sweat on it forever and a decision had to be made.
“We’ve had a lot of injury trouble over the last six weeks. These injuries have delayed selection but they have not actually changed it. Simon is not fit to be selected, so it is not even a discussion point as to whether he would make the squad."
Also missing out on a place on the team is Richard Alexander, a part of the squad in Beijing four years ago and a seven-year veteran of international hockey.
Lee does not have to finally ratify his final squad until July 9 and expects to confirm two additional reserve players in the coming weeks - so those omitted are still clinging to hope.
"I'm shocked not to be included," said Alexander.
"I've been to every major championship since 2005, so it's tough to come to terms with.
"I don't know what to do. Do I stay here and enjoy the Games or go abroad and try to ignore the whole situation?
“You’ve just got to cling on to every last bit of hope you can. You don’t want any of your team-mates to get injured but you have to be ready in case that happens.”
Great Britain's men are ranked fourth in the world, up seven places in the last four years, but have disappointed in recent home events, leading to Lee to speak about the mental strain of the home advantage.
But Lee's hopes are still high they can improve on their fifth place in Beijing, even if Danny Kerry's women's team are considered better medal prospects.
"We used to go to tournaments not believing we could do anything. But in recent years we’ve grown into a strong group who think we can win," said captain Barry Middleton, who will contest his third Games in London.
Great Britain Olympic men's hockey squad
Nicholas Catlin (23; Marlow, Bucks; Reading), Jonathan Clarke (31; Southend-on-Sea, Essex; Reading), Matthew Daly (28; Surbiton, Greater London; Surbiton), James Fair (31; Chester, Cheshire; Cannock), Daniel Fox (29; Godalming, Surrey; Hampstead & Westminster), Ben Hawes (31; Lewes, East Sussex; Wimbledon), Ashley Jackson (24; Tunbridge Wells, Kent; East Grinstead), Glenn Kirkham (29; Chelmsford; East Grinstead), Iain Lewers (28; Belfast, Northern Ireland; East Grinstead), Iain Mackay (27; Braintree, Essex; Reading), Harry Martin (19; Ipswich, Suffolk; Old Loughtonians), Barry Middleton (28; Doncaster, South Yorkshire; East Grinstead), Robert Moore (31; Winchester, Hampshire; Surbiton), Richard Smith (24; Portsmouth, Hampshire; Loughborough Students), James Tindall (29; Virginia Water, Surrey; Surbiton), Alastair Wilson (28; Sheffield, South Yorkshire; Beeston)
© Sportsbeat 2012