Clubhouse: The Inside Track

Brooklands MU captain Peter Flanagan celebrates, Credit Mark Henderson - 450

Brooklands MU picked up their first league win of the season with a miraculous comeback against Reading. In the Investec Women's Premier Division, Surbiton extended their lead at the top to three points. Peter Flanagan and Sarah Haycroft, the respective captains give us the lowdown on another action-packed weekend.

Peter Flanagan, Brooklands MU.
On their comeback win over Reading:

"As you can it was a disatrous start for us. With the way things have gone this season we did start to think "here we go again" but we managed to get a goal back quite quickly. That gave us a bit of a lift and made us think there might be something there for us. We managed to get back to 4-3 and the second half was a lot closer. We got the goals we needed but also Chris Scott in goal made some brilliant saves, especially from corners. They came at us hard at the end but it was a brilliant day for us. I’ve never been part of such a turnaround in my playing career and it did feel amazing!"

On the benefit of a break:

"The two weeks off helped us. We got together and had a chat about how things have gone. We needed to raise our efforts and put in a bit extra in training but we have a good positive attitude. The start wasn’t great at the weekend but we were very positive and aggressive and stepped forwards. We like to play on the front foot and try to make things happen and I feel like that was a factor in the result we got."

On competing in the top flight:

"Scoring goals hasn’t been the issue. We’ve probably shipped too many, if we're honest. We’ve had some big defeats against East Grinstead, Surbiton and Beeston but if you take those out of the equation we’ve been competitive in almost every game. We haven’t been too far away. We’ve had some periods in games where we’ve conceded a couple of quick goals and at this level that makes it very difficult to come back."

On their upcoming challenges:

"We've looked at the games we have coming up and we feel we can compete and get something from them before Christmas. If we can produce the hockey we’re capable of there is no reason why we can’t get points on the board and build some momentum to take into the second half of the season.
At the moment we have to take it as it comes."

On their aims for the season:

"We’ve struggled for points so realistically we have to go into every game and fight. There’s a group of teams in the mid table region who we have to be aiming for. If we could get higher that’d be amazing but I think realistically we have to try and pick up as many points as possible and aim for that group of clubs."

Sarah Haycroft Surbiton vs Beeston October 2014

Sarah Haycroft, Surbiton.

On Surbiton's win on Saturday:

"We’re really pleased to keep our unbeaten run going. We played well in the first half. We were composed and put together some nice build up play. We’re aiming to get as many outcomes as we can in the circle which we did well before the break. It was 4-0 at half-time and we wanted to continue that and produce a full 70 minute performance. Credit to Buckingham they came out and played very well in the second period and made it difficult for us. We’re happy with how it went but we’re still looking for that 70 minute performance where we keep it going for the whole game."

On Surbiton's strength in depth:

That was the key last season and again this season. Sarah Page, Becky Herbert, Jenna Woolven, those sorts of players are really dynamic and exciting to watch. Combined with the young players coming through, the likes of Charlotte Calnan and Holly Munro, are progressing really well and really give us that depth that when the internationals aren’t there. In fact even when the internationals are there, we know the rest of the squad will do a great job for us. It’s exciting for us for the future as well as now."

On their pacy forward line: 

"All our forwards are amongst the quickest in the league. Having that pace gives us another dimension. If we give those players the ball they can attack defences and make it really hard for them. Equally though, they are all really skilful and so if we build up slowly they are also happy in that. It means we can approach games differently at different times and cause teams problems in different ways."

On the pressure of being reigning champions:

"At the beginning of the season we weren’t sure whether being champions would put pressure on us or not. Teams maybe do play that bit harder against us now because they expect us to be strong but we take the games as they come and try to develop our performances each game. It's cliche but we take it one step at a time. That’s what we’ll do for the rest of the season."

On their hopes for the season:

"We’re aiming for top four. We want to finish top if we can, obviously. We also have Europe to look forward to as well which is an unknown for us and the first time Surbiton women have qualified for that. We’re really excited and we’ll go there as underdogs but we’ll give it our best shot and learn a lot for it. 
It’s exciting competing for three trophies. It’s a great place to be. It comes back to the strength in depth of the club once again. We wouldn’t be where we are as a club or able to compete in these competitions if we didn’t have the amount of quality we have in the group. Hopefully we can threaten in all three. It’d be great to win them all but obviously that’s a huge ask. We’ll take them as they come and do our best, you never know!"

Surbition aim to continue their unbeaten run with a home clash against Bowdon Hightown. For all the Investec Women's Hockey League fixtures, click here.  

Brooklands will be hoping to build on their first win as they travel to Hampstead and Westminster. For all the fixtures in the NOW: Pensions Men's League click here.

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