Report from Men's 065s on preparations for Summer Campaign

England 065s

England Men’s O65 have a successful training weekend

The England Men’s O65 squad enjoyed a two-day training weekend in Chichester over the 13 and 14 April, well organised by coach Andy Barnes and manager Imtiaz Sheikh.  Gathering on Saturday at the Chichester pitch in the early afternoon, the squad were able to run through a series of set pieces and defensive moves.  These proved themselves later in the match arranged against a Chichester veterans side.  Skipper Skinner was keen to impress on the squad the importance of shape and discipline.  This worked well for significant periods, with the squad rotations allowing all the players time on the pitch.  There was increasing confidence in defence in moving the ball rapidly from side to side through Wooding, Hilton, Dixon, Furneaux, Ramsden and Marshall.  McCollum and Boutcher took turns in goal and marshalled the defence well.  It was particularly pleasing to see the midfield and forwards combine to create chances and a series of short corners, Ward showing how this should be done.  Deayton was first on the scoresheet from open play, but most notable was the success of earlier practice with short corner routines. Wright was on song with two strikes, one a lovely hit into the corner.  Chichester nevertheless were asking questions of the squad and were a sound opposition.  They pulled a goal back, underlining the need for concentration throughout the defence and midfield.  Good work by Slator, Ray, Ward, Skinner and Rudd was rewarded with a goal from Jason and the final hurrah was from King, completing another good penalty corner routine.

Day 2 saw the arrival of Talati and the departure of Skinner, with Slator resting an injury.  Ray took on the captain’s role, concentrating minds in the lead up to the second match against a Havant veterans side.  The squad again showed some good passages of play, with the midfield of Ray, Seymour, Rudd, Ward and Talati making good positions and holding the ball well.  Up front, Smith, King, Deayton and Wright were tireless, creating space for passes from midfield.  Whilst there were occasional lapses, the squad showed they have the potential to be patient when conditions require it, aligned with the ability to attack with speed and flair.  King opened the scoring from open play, soon followed by Deayton.  A slick penalty corner routine was finished by King for his second of the day.  In the third quarter, interplay from Rudd and Deayton set up Smith to strike home.  Havant, nevertheless, continued to challenge and the side had to defend several penalty corners.  Havant scored from one of these with a good strike.  This did not impact the rhythm of the England side and it was not long before Wright put away a penalty corner in his own style.  Showing stamina across the field, the squad continued to build play to the final whistle.  Ray finished the day with a fine strike past the keeper, having created space in the circle while under pressure.  As the manager and coach commented, there is room for improvement, but there were many more plusses than minuses from the weekend.

 

Results:

Chichester 1-5 EnglandO65s: Deayton (FG), Wright (2: PC, PC), Jason (FG), King (PC)

Havant 1-6 England O65s: King (FG), Deayton (FG), King (PC), Smith (FG), Wright (PC), Ray (FG)

 

Squad: Richard Boutcher (GK), Bill Deayton, David Dixon, Geoff Furneaux, Roy Hilton, Max Jason, Nick King, Jon Marshall, Peter McCollum (GK), Graham Ramsden, Conrad Ray (vice-captain), Mike Rudd, Steve Seymour, Graham Skinner (captain), Richard Slator, Tim Smith, Sarosh Talati, David Ward, Ken Wooding, Peter Wright, Imtiaz Sheikh (manager), Andy Barnes (coach)

Tournament Information

24-26 May 2019 - Four Nations Grand Masters Hockey Tournament

-           Pitches: Countesswells Playing Fields, 233 Countesswells Rd, Aberdeen. AB15 8AR

-           Matches: Friday 24 at 16:00 against Ireland; Saturday 25 at 10:00 against Scotland; Sunday 26 at 10:55 against Wales

-           Team hotel: Double Tree by Hilton hotel, 161 Springfield Rd, Aberdeen, AB15 7AQ

-           Website: http://www.scotlandlx.org.uk/2019/2019FourNationsAberdeen/4NationsAberdeenInformation.shtml

 

19-29 June 2019 - Grand Masters Hockey European Cup 2019

KHC Dragons, Sportendreef 1, 2930 Brasschaat, Belgium

-           Tournament website: http://www.eurocupgm2019.com

-           Team hotel: Ramada Plaza, Desguinlei 94, 2018 Antwerp