The final day of the Investec London Cup left the home crowd happy as England picked up both trophies. There were wins for South Africa’s men and Scotland’s women. Find out what the players and the coaches made of it all with the quotes of the day.
Will Marshall, Scotland:
I thought we played ok, we were a bit down on yesterday due to tiredness but overall we’ve made some good steps through this tournament, we’re buzzing and looking forward to Commonwealth Games.
We’re going to have a bit more rest between games at the CWG so we’ll be prepared I think. We felt good after the last game but we’ve got a bit of tiredness creeping in. It all helps to get us focused for the tournament ahead.
We’ve got some games in preparation for the tournament so we’re looking to keep progressing in those and keep sharp for the challenges coming up.
Our best has been 5th, so we’d like to match or better that. We’re capable of going and getting the results in the pool so with the crowd behind us, you never know. We’re confident.
We played a four nations at home a couple of months ago. There were busloads of school kids coming down and the noise was incredible. That was with the stand not even fully open so with all the stands open and full of Scottish fans that’ll give us a real lift and hopefully help us to get the results. I like to think the boys will feed off the atmosphere; we saw it with GB at the Olympics so hopefully we can do the same and rise to the occasion.
Lloyd Norris-Jones, South Africa:
It was a slow start and you could see we’ve played four games in five days. We got our tactical approach right and once we got into the second half we had a bit more in the legs than them and we were defensively sound which allowed us to get forwards and score some goals.
The whole idea of this is prep for CWG. It’s a good opportunity to make sure we put the right processes in place. Now we have a full squad it’s a little more positive. I’m a striker and I like to score goals so it was frustrating at times, especially first half. In the second half we put some good connections together and won some corners so it was nice to be able to do that.
We had a big chat the other night and we simplified what we want to do on the field. We’ve left ourselves exposed too much which has led to leaking goals. Now we’ve had two solid games in defence things are looking a bit better so I’m actually really excited for the Commonwealth Games.
Emily Maguire, Scotland:
It’s always great to finish with a win. Wales have been improving each game in the tournament so to be honest we were happy we won. We’re not delighted with the performance but we’re keeping a few things back for the Commonwealth Games which can be hard to adapt to. We’ll be coming out hard next time. We have a few things up our sleeves we didn’t want to show them yet given we play the same opponents very soon. We want to keep on building for the Commonwealth Games and make sure all our presses and corners are as good as they can be.
It’s a great venue here and a fantastic legacy from the Olympic Games. One of the mottos was about inspiring a generation and legacy so I’m really pleased to see it happen. A blue pitch in Stratford, it’s fantastic and hopefully the home of British hockey for years to come.
The fans in Glasgow will be great. We need to use them as our 12th man and it’ll be a fantastic atmosphere. We’re already imagining the noise they’ll create. I think it’ll be quite intimidating for teams who come to play us we’ll use that to our advantage hopefully. Our goal is to make the semis and we’ll have to play well to do that. I believe in this team and I think we can do it but with the added bonus of the crowd we have a great chance.
Emma Batten, Wales:
We’re really pealed with the performance. The whole tournament has been a huge learning curve and that game in particular was a great sign of the progress we’ve made. We lost 5-0 to them earlier in the week and so to score some goals and put in a display like that is a result to be proud of.
Playing against these sorts of teams means we have to be strong in defence and of course that’s been a focus but we’ve tried to win the ball higher and attack a bit more too.
We’re only going to face the same calibre of opposition at the Commonwealths so we’ve come here, big crowd and really experienced a tournament atmosphere and good quality teams and it’s really tested us and made as stronger as a group. 8-0 on the first day to a 3-2 loss at the end of the tournament is terrific progress.
It’s hard to say how we’ll do at the CWG. If we can come higher than our ranking that’ll be great for us. We want to go out and perform and make ourselves proud.
It’s been nice to see that corner go right. We’ve connected pretty well on it so that’s been a nice, unexpected bonus for us!
George Pinner, England:
We’ve had fantastic support all week which is great for us. It’s good practice for big tournaments where there are big crowds, too. We played well this week and scored plenty of goals, which is what we needed to do it’s been a great week.
We’ve created a lot of chances. We know we’ve defended well lately but we need to score more goals. We conceded one to the Dutch in the world cup semi but we felt we never really threatened them. If we want to achieve as a team we need to score more goals. Here we’ve done that and we’ve had the confidence to try that and it’s pleasing to see the hard work coming off.
I do love the shootouts. I’ve said before I feel it’s an even playing field for goalkeepers and strikers. Although we didn’t want it to go to a shootout it’s a great experience for us and good to put the work from training into practice in a competitive environment.
The first save was all about my genetics! I’m 6 foot 4 so my tall parents helped me out on that one! I’ve worked hard on shootouts, the two strokes I felt were disappointed. Players back in and there’s nothing you can do but stand your ground, so I was unhappy to concede the strokes but happy with the result.
We have high expectations as a group. We’re the second highest ranked side in the Commonwealth Games, so understandably we want to win gold; at the very least we want to play to our ranking.
John Jackson, Ireland:
We were a lot tighter at the back today and more responsible in how we used the ball and a bit more Irish, too. We used the qualities that make us who we are as a team and fought really hard and I was pleased with how we played.
We started slowly yesterday, which took us down a notch but today we addressed that and it bodes well for this team.
We’re disappointed but to lose in that fashion is not what you want but when we have time to reflect and think about it, we should be very positive about what we’ve achieved here. It bodes well for this group and how we are progressing.
Sam Quek, England:
It’s not been the prettiest hockey but it’s great to show some fight and get the wins we have this week. The Hague was really disappointing for us but we need to put that to one side and build. This has allowed us to do that and we’re moving well towards the Commonwealths.
We’ve worked some corner variations and we’ve been focusing a lot on that, so it’s nice to have a handful of girls who have different roles on corners I’m pleased it came off today.
The crowd has been amazing, the setup here is perfect. We’ve put on a show here for the fans and we’re very optimistic about the upcoming challenges. We’re looking forward to it.