No time to wallow for England's Catlin

Catlin drives forwards

England go into today’s bronze medal match with Ireland knowing that they have the hardest job of all, to pick themselves up after the heartbreak of a shootout loss to Germany in the semi-finals.

In arguably the game of the tournament, England fought tooth and nail to set up the dream final in front of their home fans but despite Mark Gleghorne and Ashley Jackson’s goals grabbing a dramatic 2-2 draw, the familiar tale of a German shootout win played out and broke English hearts.

“It doesn’t get much closer than that. It’s probably the best semi-final I’ve been involved in since I came into the team.” said Nick Catlin, England’s No26.

“We certainly turned up and played our part but we went from the ecstasy of making 2-2 to the agony of losing on shootout. We’re there or thereabouts. That’s the closest we’ve ever pushed them in a major tournament.”

Although England’s overriding emotion is that of disappointment, it is fair to say that in the cold light of day, when they have a chance to reflect, they will be heartened by the progress they have made. The performance against Germany showed they are right on the cusp of becoming one of the big hitters in the big tournaments.

“The more we play these games the closer we’re getting. If we keep playing the way we did today we won’t lose these games every time. The shootout is a bit of a lottery - Germany seem to win a few more than they lose but we are very close.”

Although the future looks positive, their immediate focus switches to the bronze medal clash with Ireland. Catlin, who has been around the side for 165 caps knows the importance of finishing the job and ensuring they do not go home empty handed.

“It’s important not to wallow. We’ll have a debrief and look at where we can improve ahead of Ireland on Saturday. I have no doubt we’ll bounce back and produce a good performance. It’s not the game we came here to play in but we still need to do our job.”