Over the summer, we had four players representing their country in European tournaments.
Sammy D. was in Germany representing the England under 18s in the EuroHockey Cup. They started off with a great 2-2 draw against a very strong Spanish side who scored with just two minutes to go to snatch away victory from England; Sammy was named Man of the Match. A comfortable 8-0 win over Poland in which Sammy scored two goals set up a thrilling final pool game against the Dutch who had lost 0-3 to Spain. Needing just a draw to qualify for the semis, England had an excellent first half and went into the final quarter leading 3-1 with Sammy having scored another brace. However the Dutch turned it on during the final quarter and scored three goals with their last coming just 23 seconds before the end to snatch the game 4-3 and quash England’s hopes of being in the semis…agonizingly close. In a bit of an anti-climax in the 5th/6th play-off, Scotland drew level with England in the last minute again but Sammy scored the winning penalty shootout to take 5th place.
The England under 16s were in southern Spain to play in an 8 Nations tournament amidst searing heat with Matt H. and Louis P. representing their country. They started against the ever-strong Dutch and put in a great performance, leading into the last quarter. Similar to the under 18s the Dutch stepped up to the plate in the last quarter to win 3-2. A 13-0 victory over Scotland saw Matt score a hat-trick but a 1-4 loss to a high-pressing Spanish side unfortunately left them third in their pool. Having come back from 0-2 down at halftime against Spain B, England recovered to score five unanswered goals in the second half, of which Matt got one, before succumbing 2-3 to Ireland in the 5th/6th play off.
Also in southern Spain, Charlotte Barr was representing Scotland and they had a tough start against Germany losing 1-7. A close game against Ireland, in which Charlotte scored and was captain, went Ireland’s way in the end 4-2. Spain then played well to record a 6-0 win. Drawing 2-2 at halftime against England, they couldn’t hold the opposition in the second half who scored five unanswered goals. A rematch against Ireland in a play-off resulted in a better result – a 2-2 draw but Ireland won the penalty shootout.
Later in the summer the Talent Academy (TA) festival took place in Nottingham – this is for those players just below International level and serves as a trial for England selection. Barney B. was playing for the Guildford TA and captained them in two of the matches. A fairly comfortable 3-1 win over Wales was followed by a tense contest against Cambridge that resulted in a 2-2 draw with Guildford claiming the win on penalty shootouts. The final match against Hampstead & Westminster was another tight game that ended in a 3-2 victory for the opposition.
On the girls’ side Freya A., Charlotte B. and Izzy B. were also representing the Guildford TA. Once again they started with a comfortable 5-0 win over Wales with Charlotte and Izzy scoring. One down early against Cambridge they came back quickly and ran out 2-1 winners. They finished with a 2-0 victory over Hampstead & Westminster to be joint winners of the whole tournament that contained no less than 24 sides from across the country.
Following all this hockey, Louis P. has been selected for the new England under 18 training squad whilst Matt H. has been selected again for the England under 16s. Charlotte B. remains in the emerging players squad in Scotland and Izzy B. has been selected for the new England under 16 training squad.
Congratulations to all of them on their performances and good luck for their forthcoming training camps.
Richard Organ, Head of Hockey