Positive start for England Colleges men’s hockey team
Team building and tactics were the focus at the first England Colleges men’s hockey team training camp which took place on 19 & 20 February.
The camp at Lindum Hockley Club was the first meeting of the squad selected from the trials before Christmas.
The main focus was on team building and getting the players to buy in to a set of agreed principles and structures.
The first game against Lincoln University allowed the side to look at attacking play and reaction to counter attack and this was reflected in the 6-0 victory.
Ollie Wheeler (Pembrokeshire College) netted a hat-trick and was joined on the scoresheet by Rory Simons (Worcester 6th Form College) and Angus Haigh (Peter Symonds College).
The match against Lincolnshire men soon followed and although it was a defeat, it allowed the coaches to look at the side’s defensive play, ball retention and ability to counter attack.
The final game against an RAF XI looked at the conditioning of the players and ability to work on points raised from the analysis of the two previous games.
The squad ended the camp on a high with a 4-2 victory and goals from Byron Knowles (2) (Exeter College), Rob Hutchings (Birmingham Met College) and Ollie Wheeler (Pembrokeshire College).
Head Coach, Terry Lavery said: “The team building element of the camp was a huge success along with the effort levels shown by the players throughout.
“This was backed up by the Lincolnshire men’s team players and coaches saying that in the four years they have played us that this game was the best “team performance” that they have seen.
“The players all deserve great credit – Ollie Wheeler with four goals, Angus Haigh with great defence and communication throughout and also Jonny Thompson (Godalming College) and Sam MacKenzie (Barton Peveril College) who both travelled up from a three-day England Hockey DiSE camp to arrive for the evening game and day two.
“With the number of players unavailable for the camp due to holiday and injury, competition for pitch time will be high and this bodes well for our international fixtures to come.”
The men’s next match is against England U16s on Sunday 14 April at Loughborough University.
Meanwhile the women’s hockey squad were at Beeston Hockey Club in Nottingham for a two-day training camp.
Kelly Fillingham, of Greenhead College, coached the side.
Great first day at our training camp for the @AoC_Sport English colleges hockey squad. Great to get the players setting their environment and thinking about what their attacking principles look like! #EndInMind #coachandinspire pic.twitter.com/pYTysSBHTC
— Kelly Fillingham (@Twiddle81) February 21, 2019
@AoC_Sport mental warm ups just as important to get players focused and in the zone to perform at their optimum level, we dynamically stretch our bodies, why not our minds 2. 😁 #endinmind #thinkingplayers pic.twitter.com/qv7QdXMaof
— Kelly Fillingham (@Twiddle81) February 22, 2019