Roper and Crutchley look ahead to Germany.

England got their EuroHockey Championships campaign off and running with a 6-0 win over Poland on Sunday. However, Coach Bobby Crutchley stressed the need for improvements from his side in the aftermath of the victory.
With matches coming thick and fast in the tournament environment the chance to right the wrongs of the first match presents itself very quickly with a clash against the might of Germany, tomorrow.

Germany’s pedigree in this tournament is undoubted: Winners in 1970, 1978, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2011 and 2013 no one has been European Champions more times than them. Yet England, whose biggest tournament win over the Germans, 4-1, came in the 2012 Champions Trophy will fancy their chances having defeated Stefan Kermas’ side 3-0 at the recent Four Nations Tournament.

“We’ve got a really tough match against Germany tomorrow.” Phil Roper told The Top of the D. “We’re raring to go, though. We’ve enjoyed playing them this year it’s been a good experience and we’re looking to build on the previous performances.”

Despite the positive outlook from the England No15 he is by no means taking anything for granted:

“They’re a strong defensive side with some really talented attacking players. We’ll have to step up our 1v1 defence again and hopefully we can go out and do a job.”

Head Coach Crutchley echoed those sentiments, saying:

“Tomorrow is a different test and a tough test. I know the lads are frustrated with how the Poland game went and they’ll be as keen as anyone to put that right against Germany.”

With the top two going through to the semi-finals and with Ireland to come after Germany the pool is extremely competitive. Can England get another three points on the board? We’ll find out tomorrow!

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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