U21 Men in Mannheim, Germany

U21 Men Celebrate

England's U21 Men are in Mannheim, Germany until 17 October, for a series of three matches against the home German side while training for the upcoming Hero Hockey Junior World Cup in New Delhi, India in December.

The Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 will be held from the 6 to 15 December, where the best U21 teams in the world will be playing in New Delhi, India. England are placed in Pool D along with New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia, while Germany are in Pool A. 

Match 1 - England (0) 0-4 (2) Germany

The England squad's first match against the home side had them on the attack from the off, but the German team were more than up to the challenge and scored from a penalty corner in the first three minutes of play. 15 minutes later the German side were able to work their way into the English circle to tap in the ball and leave the score 2-0. England defended well for the rest of the half, but were unable to level the playing field before the break.

The second half was played with only 14 players on the England side due to illness and injury leaving players with long stretches on the pitch, and the Germans were able to take advantage of the available space ten minutes in to run down the pitch to send a reverse stick shot across the goalkeeper and into the goal. Another succesful penalty corner sent Germany up 4-0, a score they were able to hold on to until the final whistle.

England U21 Head Coach Jon Bleby said after the game "There were periods of the games where our core skills were of a high quality and we competed on an even basis, but the lesson is that we need to be more consistent for longer periods in a game of this quality".

Match 2 - England (1) 2-3 (1) Germany

The second match of the series started as well for England as the previous game did for Germany, with Phil Roper scoring from a penalty corner within two minutes of the starting whistle. The score was held for a while by a good English defense, but the German side weren't going to be stopped and were able to drive their way into the opposing half to score from open play. With 15 minutes left of the first half both sides tried to get the edge on the score, but ultimately it was left 1-1 at the break.

Germany opened the second half with a penalty corner three minutes in, which they were able to send home. It was only another two minutes before they increased their lead even further, leaving England with two goals to recover and three if they were to take the lead. Roper came back onto the scoreboard in the 44th minute, scoring his second goal of the match, the team were unable to carry the momentum and the match ended 2-3 to the home side.