Nanjing 2017 – First Phase Reports

Roller Games Nanjing 2017

We are very disappointed in the conditions of the rinks for both our competitions.

Group Photo - Roller Games 2017Although the floors are very good, the barriers are not straight and are even held by sand bags. In the first Under 20 game, the gates used for the dugouts & substitutions, didn’t have locks. The organisers put one person on each door, holding it to keep it closed !!!!!!

Another issue is that the line markings are not straight.

This is a shame considering they are great Sports Centres with great facilities Including viewing, changing rooms and score boards.

It is difficult for us to understand how this can happen and why this was not supervised more closely prior to the competition.

We are not trying to blame anybody but our sport deserves better.


The England team are playing in the FIRS Cup

England 6 – 3 India
Goal Scorers: Beth McCarthy (2), Heather Dunand, Hattie Ford, Harriet Finch and Alice Kneeshaw

England 6 – 1 Japan
Goal Scorers: Beth McCarthy (4) and Alice Kneeshaw (2)

England 6 – 1 India
Goal scorers: Beth McCarthy (3), Hattie Ford, Heather Dunand and Alice Kneeshaw

In our first three games, England showed superiority in all areas of the game. In the matches against India, the team produced a much display tactically than against Japan.

India are a physical team, who break well on the counter attack and have players that could shoot hard and accurately. To counter this tactically, we pressured their player with the ball, just over the half way line whilst having the other three players cutting out the pass lines. With this system we always had the games in control and using the carousel movement to organise the attack with screens and movement off the ball, we created lots of goal opportunities and converted many of these.

In the game against Japan the team didn’t perform very well. The players didn’t play for each other as they can and as they had against India. I had to call a time out inside of the first five minutes of the game to talk to the players about changing their attitude regarding the attack, as there was little movement off the ball. We won the game comfortably because Japan could not cope with our full rink pressure.

I am pleased with the overall performance of the three games considering that we have seven Under 17 players in their first Senior competition. This bodes well for the development of the England Ladies.

We have decided to invest in the young to prepare well for the future and to be competitive in the next few years. We have more girls under way as part of this project to ensure this continues.

We are now in a good position to win this competition as long we keep focused and continue to show the superiority shown in the first three games.


The England team is playing in the World Championship (Top 8)

England 4 – 7 Chile
Goal Scorers: Alex Mount (3) and Will Rawlinson

England 1- 3 Colombia
Goal Scorer: Alex Mount

England 2 – Portugal
Goal Scorers: Alex Mount and Harry Pickering

In the Group Stage we had three hard games to play against teams that finished in the top five places, Portugal (1st),  Chile (4th) and Colombia (5th), in the last Worlds Championships.

Most of the time in all three of these matches, England were well organised in defence, however when we play against competitive teams details cost us dearly.

Although the results were not in our favour I have to say that England played consistently having good ball possession and circulation, creating good goal opportunities from both counter attacks and carousel movement.

We are closing the gap to the top countries as we felt that we lost against Chile and Colombia because we didn’t kill the game when we were 2 – 1 up. Against Chile we missed too many goal opportunities and against Colombia their goalkeeper was the best player for them.

We finished the Group Stage playing Portugal and as in the previous games, the team showed good dynamics having ball possession using carousel movement with the players moving off the ball for each other. We created good goal opportunities converting two goals. In the second half Portugal only scored two goals and we scored one as well as hitting the posts on two occasions.

This shows the improvement of the English Roller Hockey at this level.

So, I am pleased to see an England team that is more competitive showing progress from the last year’s Europeans considering we have one of the youngest teams in this competition with three players first year Junior.

Finally I would like to emphasise the fact the games are now 25 minutes each way stop clock which makes it even more difficult for us considering we are playing against players training 3/4 times a week and preparing 2/3 weeks prior to the competition compared with our limited preparation due to school and work commitments.

We now face in the quarter-finals Spain, one of the best teams of the competition.