Plenty of positives for U16 Boys

England U16 Boys defend a PC

The recent Easter weekend gave the newly selected U16 Boys England team the chance to travel to Rotterdam and test their skills against a strong Holland side.

The team started positively with much intent and looked to impose themselves on the game which was a huge step up in intensity for a team mostly new to international hockey. This lead to England opening the scoring with an open play goal from Rohan Bhuhi showing great skill to eliminate multiple players before finishing strongly on the reverse.

Holland quickly responded with a goal from a penalty corner, followed by another from a penalty stroke to lead 2-1.

England were keen not to go into half time on the back foot and their attacking efforts were rewarded with penalty corner. Captain for the game, Daniel West, saw his flick charged down by the first runner but he did well to hit the rebound into the right-hand corner to score England's second and draw level before half time. The second half of the game saw England drop in their intensity and ability to maintain their tight defence resulting in a number of open play goals for Holland who scored 3 with no reply to end the game 5-2.

Match 2 saw a well rested and much improved England side come out with a similarly high intensity to the first game. Despite this Holland opened the scoring from a penalty corner late in the first half to go into the break leading 1-0. The team came out fighting in the second half however and were quickly rewarded with an excellent open play goal coming after a strong drive down the left wing from Thomas Russell and a cross into a diving George Waller to equalise. Rohan Bhuhi then scored his second goal of the series to give the England side the lead for the first time, 2-1. Sadly, a last minute penalty corner goal for Holland meant that England had to settle for a draw following a terrific performance leaving the players keen to progress further in their final game.

The final match of the series begun with England scoring in the opening minutes after Finley Newton’s reverse stick shot hit the post allowing the Captain for the day, Elliot Killington, to follow up with a top left hand corner strike. Holland managed to equalise going into the half time break with a well worked penalty corner leaving it all to play for.

England came out strongly creating multiple chances and quickly took the lead after some individual skill and a deceptive pass from Bhuhi eliminated a number of the Dutch defence allowing Newton to score on the reverse. Not content with only a single goal to his name Newton then scored his second with a high right hand flick from a penalty corner to double England’s lead.

England were again rewarded after some intense attacking play when Russell scored a terrific reverse stick shot from wide on the left wing that screamed past the keeper into the far right netting. Holland were again without reply and the game ended in a win for England, 4-1.

Head Coach Jerome Goudie commented on the series, “I’m really proud of how the team have performed and progressed over these three games. The players put in huge amounts of effort to defend with excellent intensity and purpose. In attack our small unit play was effected and I was pleased that we created regular circle entries. The players have gelled very well as a team over the course of the weekend and you could see from their performance that it was a whole team effort which produced a well-earned result against a skilful team, away from home”.

England U16 Boys 
1 Callum Bell
2 Rohan Bhuhi
3 Toby Bruce (GK)
4 Adam Buckle
5 Max Carter-Keall
6 Max Denniff
7 Harry Gough
8 Ethan Hoddle
9 James Hunt
10 Elliott Killington
11 Jonathan Lankfer
12 Finley Newton
13 Benjamin Nicholson
14 Thomas Russell
15 Taylor Seager-Green (GK)
16 George Waller
17 Daniel West
18 Murray Whitaker