England: Under 16s recent performance updates

England U16 Boys and Girls were in action against Germany over the weekend in a competitive series against some tough opposition. Brilliantly hosted by Canterbury HC at Polo Farm, the series was a key opportunity to play some competitive fixtures and test the squads.

England U16 Boys

Saturday 29 June

England 1 – 7 Germany (Herbie Walton)

Sunday 30 June

England 1 – 6 Germany (Herbie Walton)

England U16 Boys came together for a two game series against, 2023 8 Nations champions, Germany. 

In what was going to be a tough series, the boys started brightly in game one and were able to create a couple of early chances. As the game continued, the Germans were able to exploit the gaps with fast movement of the ball and good leads into space. 

A strong second quarter saw the scoreline 3-0 to Germany and they added a couple more in each quarter after half time. England finally had something to cheer about when Walton deflected in on the back post of a well worked short corner.

Despite the loss, the boys were ready to set the records straight in game two and an increased physicality and tighter marking saw a strong first half performance. 

At times, stoic defense and strong saves from keepers Davis and Mortimer were needed, however a 0-0 scoreline at half time reflected a much more even contest. Germany came out firing in the 3rd quarter and quickly put the game beyond doubt, however England’s strongest quarter of the weekend was still to come, showing great determination and commitment. Walton again scoring a deflection, this time with a good pass from Lakin-Hall. 

Head Coach Harry Jones commented “It was a challenging series against a strong opposition, but we absolutely love playing the Germans. The takeaways are invaluable, and we look forward to seeing them again in two weeks’ time at the Four Nations.”

England U16 Girls

Saturday 29 June

England 2 – 3 Germany (Phoebe Barnett, Isla Campbell)

Sunday 30 June

England 6 – 4 Germany (Phoebe Barnett, Isla Campbell, Jessica Liddell, Amelie Carter, Katie Southorn, Biba Mills)

England U16 Girls played an evenly matched and highly competitive first game, with England starting well after a cool finish from Phoebe Barnett at the far post from a well worked PCA. 

Germany fought hard and brought the game back to 1-1 at half time. Isla Campbell made it 2-1 for England in the 3rd quarter. England had hit the post a moment earlier, only for Germany to find space in the D and bring the score line back to 2-2. An exciting end-to-end 4th quarter ensued, with both sides going close but it was Germany who managed to get one across the line. The final score was score 3-2 to Germany.

The England U16 Girls’ second game was again another highly fought game from both sides, with England starting well and going a goal up from Isla Campbell, only for Germany to find the net at a well worked short corner to equalise the score. Phoebe Barnett found space in the D with a cool finish, and then Jess Liddell scored again from an excellent penalty corner.  

Germany came back strong to even up the score 3-3. A big final quarter saw excellent quality from both sides, but it was England who managed to break through with an excellent finish from Amelie Carter with a backhand into the far corner of the goal.  

This goal rallied the England supporters. The Germans then scored from a short corner, only for it to be disallowed for dangerous play, 4-3 England.  

The England Girls showcased fast flowing hockey, and it was England who went up one more with Katie Southorn finding the net at the back post.  5 minutes remained of the game and the  England players linked up again to find Biba Mills unmarked at the back post. Final score 6-4.

Don Vinson Head Coach reflected on the weekend “Playing top teams like Germany is such a valuable learning experience.  For most of the group, this was only their third and fourth game against a top European nation.  Considering that fact, the intensity, quality, and relentlessness the group showed across the weekend was truly remarkable.  This was the best this group had played – pushed to excellence by a strong German side who were highly competitive, strong, and well-coached. 

This weekend represented the most goals we have scored against Germany in a series for many years and was a result of excellent technical ability to pass and receive forehand-to-forehand in flow under extreme pressure, to stay-in-the-game in scramble defence, and most importantly, to make good decisions when fatigued. 

Perhaps even more pleasing than any of that was to see the group really gel through their collective effort and to see their understanding grow of what it takes to win games at junior international level.  We didn’t have a player of the series this weekend – it went to the whole team for their outstanding effort and execution”

The next matches for the England Age Group squads will be the final tournaments of the international season. The U18 squads travel to Granada, Spain with an 8 Nations tournament from 11-17 July. The U16 Girls will finish their season at the 4 Nations in Glasgow from 14-17 July and the U16 Boys will be in action at another 4 Nations event at Lilleshall from 13-16 July.

by England Hockey

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