England Captain Alex Danson declared that her team will be “ready to fight” for the bronze medal this coming weekend at the EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam.
Speaking in the wake of England’s narrow 1-0 loss at the hands of the hosts, Netherlands, Danson told The Top of the D:
“We’re building and this team is very exciting and has a bright future. We’re obviously devastated but we’ll take a lot from this semi-final. We’ll have a look at tonight’s game, recover and we’ll be out on the front foot, playing our game, doing our thing in the last match. We’ll go into our next game, ready to fight.”
Coach David Ralph believes the team will draw on their previous experiences and be ready to bounce back when they take on Germany for that all-important bronze medal:
“The players will pick themselves up. My job is easy in that respect. Some of them have been through this before and won numerous medals. They like winning medals and they’ll be determined to do that again. It’ll be another big occasion and we’ll look forward to it. It’s not what we wanted but we’ll be ready.”
Defender Hollie Webb cut a frustrated figure after England’s narrow loss to the Dutch but was determined to take something from the game to build into that crunch clash with Germany:
“The display we produced tonight is a massive positive. We’ll look at that and we’ll have confidence going into the game. We dominated against them in the pool too so we’ll be confident of getting it done. I know the team won’t want to leave without a medal. You always want to win the last game and we don’t want to leave here empty handed.”
Whilst the immediate goal remains the medal, both Danson and Webb looked at the bigger picture with Webb describing the next three years as “very exciting” and Danson adding:
“We just said in the huddle this time next year we have a home World Cup. Think of how many sessions we have between now and then. Think of what we can work on in that time. We’ve shown how quickly we can learn and we’ve shown that we can live with the No1 team in the world. We will build on this and be sure to make our mark in the upcoming years.”
That process will surely begin tomorrow as they take on Germany in the Rabobank EuroHockey Bronze medal match.