“A very positive experience” and “good preparation for the Champions Trophy” was how England coach Bobby Crutchley described England’s week at the International Super Series Hockey 9s after the final in Perth on Sunday.
England had to settle for the silver medals after an early Australian blitz left them chasing the goals in a match that the hosts ultimately won 5-2 despite a spirited second half performance from England.
Four down inside ten minutes with five-times World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer among the scorers, England’s inexperienced team battled hard to establish a first half foothold in the game. The second half saw a spirited England response with Waterloo Ducks’ Alastair Brogdon and Beeston’s Harry Martin netting either side of Jacob Whetton’s second goal for Australia.
In a similar contest to Saturday’s pool phase clash between the two sides, England played well in spells but were ultimately undone by a clinical Australian side playing on home turf and gunning for a second consecutive Super Series Hockey 9s title.
While the result might not have gone England’s way, Crutchley has been pleased with how England’s young and less experienced players have acquitted themselves in the tournament which has included victories over India and Pakistan. “I’m really pleased with how the week has gone and I’m happy with how we’ve been progressing,” said Crutchley after the match. “We have learned a lot this week playing in some very hot conditions against the best in the world. Our new players have adapted well to the step up to international hockey and the wins against India and Pakistan were pleasing. It’s been good preparation for the Champions Trophy.”
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England will now travel to Melbourne where they will embark on final preparations for the Champions Trophy tournament, which begins next Saturday (1 December). There they will face Olympic Champions Germany as well as New Zealand and India in the pool.