England U21 in Junior Challenge Open

England’s U21 men’s squad is in action again this week having flown out to Poland to take part in the Junior Challenge Open in Siemianowice.

There, they will take on some of best U21 teams of that Europe has to offer as they come up against Germany, Poland and France in the four day, four nation tournament.

It all kicks off against Germany on Wednesday at 15:00 BST before matches against Poland (17:00 BST, Thursday) and Franc e (13:00 BST, Saturday).  Sunday will see the top two in the table do battle for the gold medal while third will play off against fourth for bronze.

An England U21 men's player clashes with the South Africa goalkeeper during the 2009 Junior World Cup playoff match in Singapore, 19 June 2009

Coach David Ralph has taken a squad of 18 to Poland as he prepares his side for their main tournament of the year, the EuroHockey Junior Nations Championships, which take place back in Siemianowice from 25-31 July.

Last month, England met Germany in Krefeld where they battled to a 3-3 draw before going down 4-2 in the second match.  At the time, Team Manager Andy Halliday spoke of the battling performances the side put in but added, “It’s a steep learning curve for a few players who have not played at this level before.” 
The Junior Challenge Open gives those players another opportunity to build their experience in what will be a busy summer of international hockey for the group.  In addition to the European Championships in Siemianowice they will play the Netherlands in early July.

The match schedule for the Junior Challenge Open is as follows:

Date Fixture Time (local) Time (UK)
Wednesday 19 May England v Germany 1700hrs 1500hrs
Poland  v France 1900hrs 1700hrs
Thursday 20 May Germany v France 1700hrs 1500hrs
Poland v England 1900hrs 1700hrs
Friday 21 May Rest Day
Saturday 22 May England v France 1500hrs 1300hrs
Poland v Germany 1700hrs 1500hrs
Sunday 23 May  3rd v 4th 0900hrs 0700hrs
1st v 2nd 1130hrs 0930hrs

The England U21 squad for the Junior Challenge Open is:

Patrick Smith (GK) (Bournville)
Jason Waitt (GK) (Plymouth Marjon)
Marc Edwards (Loughborough Students)
Andy Bull (Brooklands MU)
George Farrant (Team Bath Buccaneers)
Peter Jackson (University of Birmingham)
Simon Faulkner (Loughborough Students)
Richie Dawson-Smith (Loughborough Students)
David Condon (Loughborough Students)
Henry Weir (Loughborough Students)
Adam Jordan (Oxford University)
Scott Evans (University of Birmingham)
Jonny Kinder (Team Bath Buccaneers)
David Beckett (Loughborough Students)
Chris Griffiths (Loughborough Students)
Will Hearne (Sheffield Hallam Civica)
Phil Roper (Chester)
Dominic Bowden (Loughborough Students)

Follow the team’s performances in Poland on the England Hockey results page.