Bishop’s Stortford College Produce a Golden Generation of Hockey Players
On 7th and 8th April 2018, a grand total of 16 hockey players (10 boys and 6 girls) from Bishop’s Stortford College competed with the best 8 teams in the country as part of the National U16 Club Hockey Finals, held at Beeston HC in Nottingham.
Head of Boys’ Hockey, Charlie Bannister and Head of Girls’ Hockey, Nick Prowse are delighted with the progress the players have made since they arrived at the College. Graham Brooks, Deputy Head and a Hockey coach commented, “It is an extraordinary achievement to see so many College players taking part in a national finals. Playing at this level and at their age speaks volumes for the development of hockey players at the College”. Whilst neither the boys nor the girls made it through to the final, their very presence at the event, along with teams that contained England U16s and other Regional players, speaks volumes for their skill levels.” Many of the other clubs at the competition are amongst the biggest and most successful in the country with, in some cases, hundreds of players to choose from. Many of these teams are resourced by multiple elite hockey school feeders.
In the finals, the girls played for a very strong Cambridge City Hockey Club side and they played some superb hockey winning 1, drawing 1 and losing 1. In the key game against Sevenoaks (L0-1), they conceded a heart-breaking early goal, recovering well to dominate the game but were unable to convert their overwhelming pressure into goals. In the end they came 3rd in their group, missing out on a place in the final stages by just one point, which left them 5/6th in the country. An outstanding achievement.
The boys in turn played for the Bishop’s Stortford Hockey Club and with as many as 12 of 16 players coming from the College (2 were to miss the finals due to holiday clashes) the close College links proved vital in the boys playing superbly as a team. Although the boys lost all three games, each was a very close affair and involved end to end hockey. Ultimately the boys’ lack of an out and out goal scorer meant they were unable to turn promising territory and possession into goals. Nevertheless, given the majority of players were drawn from one school, their ability to compete at this level speaks volumes for the importance of teamwork and understanding as part of sporting success.
With the regional trials being conducted over the next few months we wish all the pupils every success as they try to become the next group of Saxon Tigers and hopefully England players.Published: April 24 2018