Captain Roper ready to fulfil his potential.

One of the things that has struck me about the new-look England squad during the early days of the current cycle is the feel-good factor around the group. There seems to be a buzz, a happiness and an excitement which is mirrored by their efforts on the field. Phil Roper, one of Bobby Crutchley’s three captains, seems to be the embodiment of that when we meet for our interview in glorious sunshine at the picturesque Bisham Abbey. Relaxed, bouncy, smiling and almost carefree, Roper who has played some of the best hockey of his career in the past six months is clearly in a good place right now. Continue reading

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Hannah Martin: Writing her own headlines.

England star Hannah Martin has a famous hockey-playing brother. If you’ve read or seen any interviews with her since she made her international debut you’re probably very aware of that fact already. Unquestionably brother Harry’s achievements are extremely impressive but now with her selection for a second consecutive tournament confirmed it’s time to talk about the 22-year-old and her achievements in their own right. So, I conducted an interview with no questions whatsoever that refer to her hockey-playing sibling. Enjoy! Continue reading

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David Ames: No More Mr Nice Guy

It’s hard not to like England international David Ames when you meet him. A polite, humble man with an unassuming demeanour; you could be forgiven for thinking his Mr Nice Guy personality does not lend itself to the rigours of international sport.

You’d be wrong, though. As soon as the conversation turns to hockey, Ames’ drive shines through and there is a different tone to his voice. One that tells the story of a steely determination required to overcome a series of personal setbacks just to take his place in Bobby Crutchley’s squad for the European Championships: Continue reading

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Guess who’s back?

Today I am delighted to announce that for the duration of the Rabo EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam, The Top of the D will be making a return. Continue reading

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A wise man once told me….

A wise man once told me “the best way to learn international hockey is to play it.” Having watched Danny Kerry’s new-look team take on Argentina and the Netherlands this past weekend, those words came back into my mind for the first time in years.  Continue reading

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Farewell, for now.

I’m sure some of you have been wondering why the blog has been so quiet since the end of the Commonwealth Games. Usually, as we count down to the start of the domestic season I’d be doing interviews, features and previews ahead of the curtain-raiser on 13 September. Continue reading

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Commonwealth Games Men’s Bronze Medal Match: England 3-3 New Zealand (4-2 after shootout.)

140803 bronze medal match 12England held their nerve to pick up the bronze medal with a dramatic shootout win over New Zealand. The sides had played out an entertaining 3-3 draw over 70 minutes but with Blair Hilton and Simon Child unable to convert their efforts in the shootout it was left to England’s Ashley Jackson to net the winner and give Bobby Crutchley’s side the win. Continue reading

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Commonwealth Games Women’s Final: England 1-1 Australia (1-3 after shootout.)

Australia held their nerve to win the Commonwealth Games title with a dramatic shootout victory over England in Glasgow. Lily Owsley’s 48th minute strike had looked like it would be enough to give Danny Kerry’s team the win but Jodie Kenny’s leveller with seconds left on the clock took the game to a shootout which the Hockeyroos won 3-1. Continue reading

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Commonwealth Games Men’s Pool B: England 3-1 Canada.

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014England rounded off their Commonwealth Games pool matches with a comfortable 3-1 win over Canada in Glasgow. A brace from Ashley Jackson and a strike by Captain Barry Middleton were enough to give Bobby Crutchley’s team the win despite Scott Tupper’s second half strike for the Canadians. Continue reading

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Commonwealth Games Women’s Pool B: Scotland 1-2 England.

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014Goals from Alex Danson and Susannah Townsend sent England through to the Commonwealth Games semi-finals but they were made to sweat on the win by a determined and spirited performance from Scotland. Roared on by the home crowd, the  side ranked 16th in the world gave their illustrious old enemy a torrid time with an excellent second half but a combination of Maddie Hinch in the England goal and the home side’s failure to make their chances count meant they came up short, losing 2-1.

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