The first day’s play of the Investec London Cup gave us plenty of goals and plenty of excitement. See what those involved made of it all with the quotes of the day:
Kathleen Taylor, South Africa:
We were really glad to get a result out of the game. We only flew in yesterday so there hasn’t been much chance to settle, we’re really glad to put some goals away and get a win.
I didn’t realise there hadn’t been any games before on this venue so it’s a real privilege to score the first goals here. I’m really pleased.
It’s great to win the first game and bank the first three points from here on we need to keep winning, but a good start is vital.
We want to perform as well as we can. Results don’t always tell the story. We didn’t perform too well today but were able to grind out a result but we want to play better than that and keep improving all areas. We want to build and make sure we hit top form at the Commonwealth Games and make sure we get to that in the best form possible.
Danny Kerry, England:
It’s been an interesting few weeks. We’ve had eight pitch sessions together and they’ve responded exceptionally well. They’ve been amazing considering everything they’ve been through. I’ve pushed them very hard they need to learn to take that intensity into the games.
Considering it’s our first game playing in this way, I was pleased with their application and how they went about it. We tried to improve and deliver in the second half and it’s very pleasing to produce a solid performance.
We have a Commonwealth Games to prepare for. Athletes at this level respect and enjoy hard work, so it’s been a very simple process of working hard on a few things and trying to refocus. I am sure that we still need to work on some things but the reality is we have a small window to get ready for the Commonwealth Games, then there is a period of time after that to make sure the girls can push on to Rio in the long run.
Kate Walsh, England:
I’m trying to think of the last time we scored eight goals. It was good for me because we’ve dominated teams in the past but not always scored many goals. We often get to four or five and then stall a bit. It did stall again today for a while but I was pleased we continued to do the things Danny wanted us to do after half time and created more opportunities. It’s a good building block, a good starting point.
It’s going to take a lot to lift us after the World Cup. It’s been a hard few weeks for the whole squad. We’ve worked hard and we wanted to come here and be professional and positive and show some fight. We did that and I we want to keep delivering that.
Ellie Watton, England:
It’s a really good start to the tournament and nice to get some goals in the bag. We’ve had a hard time with the World Cup and everything so it’s been good to get back to training and nice to get a win today.
It helps the confidence scoring goals like that but also playing well as a team is great too. There are still areas for improvement. We wanted to keep going second half and keep motivated so that was pleasing when we scored more goals.
It’s nice to get my name on the score sheet but to be honest I don’t care how the ball goes in the back of the net, as long as it gets there somehow.
It’s been a whirlwind two weeks but I’ve loved every second of it. The girls have been great to me and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to help me with my debut.
I knew Lily and Giselle from junior age groups stuff so that helped but they’ve all been great to me. I’m happy I set one up; it’s been a great experience so far.
Alan Sothern, Ireland:
We’re happy with the start. It’s good to come out and get a win in the first game it’s a great stadium so it’s nice to get a win here, too.
We want to win every game, of course but we also have objectives against how we play and we want to pick up results against the higher ranked teams and we’ve managed to do that today.
It’s always nice to score, I’m just on the end of the moves but it made a difference in the end. We caught them napping a bit on my second and I managed to step in front of the defender and it was great to see it go in the roof of the net.
We’ve been knocking on the door for some big tournaments in the recent times, we were seconds away from making it to London so of course these sorts of tournaments are great for us because they let us test ourselves against good teams. We know we’re not far off getting to a big competition, so this will hopefully stand us in good stead.
Austin Smith, South Africa:
Not the result we wanted but I was fairly happy with how we played. We haven’t been as well organised as we should, arriving just yesterday so that wasn’t ideal. We were a bit loose and conceded some poor goals but we played some good stuff too and hopefully we can improve tomorrow. We tried to get some momentum going and focus on the way we play so we’re a bit disappointed.
We want to try and fine tune a few things and play some teams where we have a bit more of the ball. In the World Cup we played very high quality teams and we didn’t see a lot of the ball so it’s important for us to get used to a different game plan and having the ball a lot more.
We finished fifth in the Commonwealths last time and we’d love to get a medal. We’ll see how we get along but it’d be nice to get a medal of course. Our long term goal is Rio but that doesn’t stop us wanting to win games on the way!
Phil Roper, England:
Starting a tournament not only with a win but a game where we dominated for 70 minutes is great for us.
I said to myself in January to get my head down and train hard and I might have had a chance to make it to the World Cup. I just missed that but I’ve been offered a chance at the Commonwealth Games so hopefully I can take that.
As soon as you step up to senior international hockey it takes time to get up to pace but I feel like I’m starting to play how I want to play and have an impact on games which is what I want to do. Hopefully I can keep improving and see where that gets me.
Gavin Sommerville, Scotland:
First half was tough for us. We settled in ok after the first 20 and we defended much better second half, but obviously we’d given them too many chances and they got away from us.
It’s been two months since we played a game, so it was hard for us, perhaps. We need to take the positives make sure we’re on form come the Commonwealth Games.
We’re fitter now than we were before, so hopefully we can match teams a bit better physically. The problem today was we weren’t quite there in terms of our hockey. Given we haven’t played for a while we can move forwards and take some positives instead.
We have to step up from this game and look to the next two matches to pick up some points. If we can tighten up our defending in the D we’ll give ourselves a chance against the other teams. It’s a bit of cliché but we’ll take this one game at a time. We want to keep improving and take things from there.