Dacorum’s leading figures quizzed on England’s chances in the World Cup: Could this be our year?

David Cobb and George Harvey enjoy a pint of World Cup beer Sundial
David Cobb and George Harvey enjoy a pint of World Cup beer Sundial

England’s chances aren’t great, according to some of Dacorum’s leading figures – but that won’t stop them tuning in to watch the World Cup.

Our nation’s first match will be against Italy on Saturday from 11pm – and Hemel Hempstead Town FC manager Dean Brennan likes our chances at least in that game.

He said: “I fancy England to win their group if I’m honest. Uruguay and Italy are ageing squads.

“It looks like Uruguay’s most dangerous player will not be 100 per cent fit in Luis Suarez. Plus the Italians have lost their captain to injury and both are key players.

“England have plenty of pace, and are a very dynamic team; they also have a great look of creativity and youth. There’s plenty of goals in this England squad.

“My only concern is the lack of world class players in their back four. Ashley Cole over the past 10 years was, and probably still is, the best left-back in the world. I was shocked he was not included in the squad.

“England must play in a positive attacking manner and if they do they can easily reach the business end of the tournament.”

The first brewery to open in Berkhamsted for 100 years has made its own beer for people who will be watching the World Cup.

Haresfoot Brewery, which only recently opened, has now begun production of its second beer, Sundial.

Director Nick Heath said: “It’s a lighter ale at 3.8ABV. It’s not too strong, so you can drink plenty of it. It’s made for sharing and watching the football with, and for the summer.”

He said he doesn’t expect England to win the World Cup – but fans can be cheerful anyway, because at least they’ll have some great beer.

He said: “That’s what the World Cup’s all about – enjoying the football and the beer that goes with it with your friends.”

He thinks Argentina will win the global football tournament - as does mayor of Dacorum Allan Lawson.

Asked who would win the World Cup, the mayor said: “I suppose I ought to say England, but that’s not realistic. I fancy Argentina, actually.

“I think England will get through the group, but maybe not much further than that. But if they get through the group, I suppose anything could happen. They have some potential this year!”

Dean Brennan says Spain are his favourites to win the World Cup.

He said: “They have run the course and succeeded four years ago, plus I see them learning a lot from their Confederations Cup final defeat last summer to Brazil.

“The experience, strength and world class quality throughout their squad is amazing; you just have to look at the players who didn’t even make their 23 and that shows you how good their squad is.

“Plus they have a fantastic manager who has won everything in the game at the highest level. Spain also have their formation in place and, with their philosophy, I can only see them as the team to beat.”

The ambulance service is appealing to the public to only dial 999 in genuine emergencies – 111 can help those who have drunk too much while watching the World Cup