England Veterans hockey trials and selection
By Nick Morris
Both myself and Charlie Beddington were selected to attend England Trials last weekend (20th May) at Hampton in Arden HC. Over 40 players were asked to attend following performances at the Divisional championships in Bristol (April 28/29th). Charlie & myself were seleceted for the Midlands and for the 4th year in a row made the final after three hard fought games on the saturday (2 draws & 1 win) meant a semi-final place versus a strong North squad. In torrential rain & very cold wind on the sunday morning, we managed to win 3-2. Unfortunately, we managed to lose 2-1 to the East in the final in a very close good game especially in the conditions!
That means 2 gold & 2 runners-up medals in the 4 years I have been taking part! Not bad!
The England Trials were tough with 3 fitness tests, skills & games working all players extremely hard. The level of talent on show was the best seen at this level and shows how much the Masters is progressing. The much more professional set up is reeping rewards with the England Management team working extremely hard to move things forward. The sessions were run by England CC coaches, Physios & RAF PTI’s!!! The management team had the difficult job of selecting 2 squads for the home nations & world cup this summer from looking at the data & performances.
I was lucky enough to be selected for both Squads this summer. The first tournament is the Home Nations in Edinburgh (June 8-10) and then the first official IHF IMHA World Cup in Canterbury (August 14-24th). We have high hopes and are working really hard with training, warm up games & fundrasing to prepare as fully as possible to build on the successes of last year.
We are all looking for support (as it is not cheap!!!) and takes a huge amount of commitment to prepare and compete. We have a golf day organised in Pershore, Worcs (June 29th) as a fundraiser and other training/warm up games organised over the next couple of months. Any support would be welcome.