4 June 2017 Junior EuroHockey Club Cup
SURBITON U14 GIRLS
Squad: Shahbo(GK), Cookman, Stuckey, Staadecker, Klugman, Heron, Foster, Winterborn, Clemmow, Gibbons ,Long, Gough, Van Druten, Grainger, Williams, Pethybridge, Loozen, Spawforth, Gavino(GK).
It was such an honour to be invited by the European Hockey Federation to take part in the inaugural Junior EuroHockey Club Cup and after the disappointment of losing in the final of the Nationals in May at Lee Valley the Surbiton Girls Under 14 squad travelled to Holland determined to right some wrongs!
After a somewhat long coach journey for most, the team gathered for a meal and a ‘team building’ swim in the hotel pool much to the bemusement and annoyance of the other hotel guests who it seems had not come across a group of over excited 13/ 14yr olds before!
An early breakfast was followed by the short coach ride from the hotel to S’-Hertogenbosch Hockey Club where the team took part in the opening ceremony in the sunshine along with the other teams – AH&BH Amsterdam; Canterbury; S’-Hertogenbosch and CSP Krylatskoye.
Then it was off for a warm up before our first match. First up was the home team S’-Hertogenbosch. We knew that playing a Dutch team first would be a tough challenge but we came out fighting from the start. Disappointingly a reverse stick blaster goal from Clemmow was disallowed, a penalty flick was saved and the final result was 0-0. This score shouldn’t take away the fact we probably played the best hockey we have all season. Annoyingly Clemmow picked up an ankle injury during the match and wasn’t able to play again in the tournament.
Next up were the eventual winners of the tournament, AH&BH Amsterdam – a team we had lost 8-3 to on our tour a couple of months back. Although tired from our previous match we fought hard and managed a clean sheet for the first half. Eventually we lost 3-0, two goals being scored in the final minutes.
After a spot of lunch it was time to play the Russian team CSP Krylatsoye. Another good display against a physical team who never gave up. It took a penalty flick taken by Colette for us to get the ball in the net and give us a well earned 1-0 victory.
Our final match was against the other English team in the tournament, Canterbury. They hadn’t won any matches at that point although had put up a good fight in their previous two. We knew we would have to play our best to get the result we needed and that is exactly what we did. Right from the start we put the pressure on with some great passing, runs and movement from all the girls. The goals took some time to arrive but like all good things they came in a three! Livia, Maddie and Colette getting on the score sheet to finish our final match with a 3-0 win.
So with the other teams still having to play their last matches we knew we were going to get either silver or bronze medals. We needed Canterbury to win or draw against ‘s-Hertogenbosch for the silver to be ours but this was to prove too big an ask for our English rivals even with the enthusiastic vocal support from all us girls. The Dutch team beat them convincingly taking the silver medal with the win.
What an amazing weekend with such a brilliant group of girls, parents and of course coaches! Huge thanks to Ali and Chris for giving up their time to coach us and keep us under control over the weekend! Another big thank you to all our parents for all their support as always…..we really do appreciate you! To Benthe for being the best Team Manager/ tour organiser/second Mum EVER! Finally, a thank you from me to the ‘team’ for all being superstars – we WILL get National gold in 2019 when we are back together!!
Match Report Written By Tilly Gough