Pearn excited by Surbiton's quality

Mark Pearn celebrates winning the Super 6s with his daughter

As the arena cleared after another action packed Super 6s finals day, Mark Pearn would have surely afforded himself a moment of quiet reflection.

In the wake of his Surbiton side claiming their first Super 6s title – and in the process ending his former club East Grinstead’s eight year dominance of the competition; the player coach could be forgiven for congratulating himself on another job well done.

The thing about Pearn is he is no ordinary hockey player. Whilst his demeanour is calm, quiet, sometimes coming across as shy, his achievements on the pitch mean that he doesn’t have to be showy or brash. They speak for themselves. 

His trophy cabinet is bursting at the seams with silverware. In the Super 6s format alone, Surbiton’s victory yesterday took Pearn’s tally to 11 indoor titles. He has won eight with East Grinstead, one with Surbiton, one with Reading and one with Guildford.

Outdoors he has been there and done it, too: Four time Men’s Hockey League Premier Division Champion, League Championship Finals winner in 2002, 2003 and 2004 and Men’s Cup winner five times. Not content with success at home, Pearn and his Reading side won the EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy in 1998 and the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup in 2003, also finishing as runners-up in the EuroHockey Cup Winners Cup in 1997, 2000 and 2002. He’s also played in two Olympic Games and won 246 international caps, scoring 74 goals. That’s some roll of honour.

After the Surbiton player-coach took his side to the title yesterday, former team mate and commentator Simon Mason took to social media to pay homage to Pearn’s achievements, talking of him attaining “legendary status as both a player and coach”. It is hard to argue with Mason’s opinion. Pearn’s CV stands up to almost anyone else’s.

Mason pays homage to Pearn

The man himself spoke to England Hockey saying:

“We really targeted the indoor. We really felt we had a side that could win it. Saying it and doing it are two different things. We have some very talented guys and they just picked up what we asked them to do. What a result, what a great final day for us.”

“I'm fortunate to have won it with Reading, Guildford and East Grinstead. We wanted to play EG. We wanted to play the champions. We wanted to prove we were the best side. I was pleased they made the final and even more pleased to show we're one step above them; at the moment.”  

The question was put to him as to whether he will ever tire of taking home so many medals, prompting a classic Pearn response: 

“Does winning get boring?! I don't think so. I like challenges. If someone says ‘you can’t do that’, give it a go. Prove them wrong.”

Pearn gives his instructions

Having presided over East Grinstead’s domestic dominance, Pearn believes Surbiton have the quality in the ranks to embark on a similar feat:

“Apart from me they're very young. I don't think I’ll play much more. These are the players to watch out for. In three, four years they will be going to the Olympics. There are some unbelievable talents at Surbiton I’m pleased they have the title to push on from I’m looking forward to seeing what they can produce in the years to come and I’m really pleased I’m going to be working with them”

So is this the beginning of the new era of indoor dominance or can East Grinstead bounce back next year? Is there anyone to rival Pearn’s achievements in the domestic game? Why not tweet us @englandhockey and tell us what you think.

Watch Pearn's post-match interview in full below.