France 5 – 1 England
(Half Time 1 – 1)
In our last game against France we still had the chance to play for 5th place. However we needed to win the game by a clear goal margin, otherwise we could finish 6th depending on the results of the German game.
In the first half we managed to defend well with our restricted man to man pressuring the man with the ball. This helped us to keep the score level at 1 – 1 at half time and therefore still in contention.
However the French team were stronger than us in the second half and deserved to win the match.
The dynamics of the French team in both defence and attack created a lot of problems for us as they closed down our pass lines. Our team lost possession of the ball before we could complete three or four passes. This was more obvious in the second half as our team began to tire and weren’t able to keep their focus in defence. This in turn meant that they didn’t break on the counter attack as they had done in the first half.
I am very pleased with the overall performance of the team, finishing in 7th place which is a higher placing than England have had in the last 2 years (finishing in 8th place). Taking into account the fact that we had the youngest team playing in this competition, with seven of our players still eligible for next year’s Under 17 Europeans, this was a great achievement.
England impressed at these championships, playing competitive games throughout including the first half against Spain. This showed that we are closing the gap on the top teams and that we will be aiming to play for the top five positions in next year’s European Championships.
One of the main issues for our sport at this level is the way that the tournament calendar is decided; It is not a fair calendar. For example England played five matches in 48 hours! It is completely unacceptable as the result against Germany, where we lost 3 – 2, shows this. Germany only played one match in 40 hours whilst we played four. This match was very important to guarantee 6th place.
I spoke to European Committee who agreed that the calendar has to be planned in a better manner to be fairer to all the teams competing at future championships.
England played a total of eight games, winning four and losing four. We scored 41 goals, conceded 32 goals which meant that we ended with a +9 goal difference. This in itself is a big achievement considering that two of the games were against the gold and bronze medal teams (Spain and Italy).
The squad were great both on and off the rink, always together and looking united as a team.
All players scored goals, which showed our dynamics ensured that everyone played their part in both defence and attack.
- Spencer Berry (10) – 4th in Top Scorers, with only two Spanish & one French player above him
- Pau Dickin (9)
- Mark Dickin (7)
- Joe Chipperfield (5)
- Josh Owen (4)
- Harvey Dugdale (3)
- Joseph Hawes (2)
- Ehab Nasir (1)
This year I decided to take three goalkeepers (Edan Emery-Webber, Haydn Willett and Robert Simpson) to this competition and I have to say that they all acted in a very professional manner, always accepting my decisions.
A big thanks goes to my management team, Jason Oldroyd, Joe Wheatley, Karl Owen and Pedro Lourenco for the great job they performed.
Special thanks to all the parents for the financial commitments, for the great support given to the team every game and the for all the positive comments that I received.
Well done to the boys and I am looking forward for next year’s Europeans