From Peter Crayford England Hockey GGM Manager
Sunday 23rd August v Italy won 9-0
Monday 24th August v Wales won 6-0
Tuesday 25th August v Belgium won 7-0
Thursday 27th August v Germany won 2-0
Friday 28th August v Holland won 1-0.
We came into the tournament as silver medallists from the last European Cup in Kontich in 2013, Holland having won the gold.
When I planned the lead in to this European Cup there were several factors that I wanted to build in to maximise our chance of gold:
- We were going to have weekends away, to encourage the best possible team spirit. We had three in Swansea, Edinburgh for the Home Internationals and in Chichester.
- I wanted us to maximise the use of Jason (our Integrated Sports Therapist) in as many sessions as possible, so that any issues players had could be dealt with immediately. Thus allowing them to maximise the opportunity for quality training and discussion of any of their own training concerns. We needed 18 fit players to be available for selection from day one of the 5 match competition!
- I also wanted them to feel the benefit of using Collagen from the start as far as possible and the majority used it. I need to thank Xenca for providing it free to all, 2 months prior to the cup. Many had used in the lead up to the World Cup in The Hague in 2014 and were continuing to use.
Although the squad had to invest a substantial amount of time and money I am really pleased that they got all their hard work rewarded, with gold and in a convincing style with 25 goals for and none against!!! Top scorers with 7 each were Richard Yardley & Santa Bansal.
We now start to plan for the 8th Grand Masters Hockey World Cup in 2016 in the town of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, to be held from 2nd – 13th May, with trials on 11th & 25th October, but will unfortunately be without some members of this victorious squad as the cost which is likely to be of the order of £2500 per person minimum will prevent them.