U-16 Boys, International Tournament
Sat Pool game results
Lost 1 2 vs. Antwerpen (Belgium club side)
Scorer: Freddie Campbell OP
Won 2 0 vs. HOD Valkenswaard (Dutch club side)
Scorers: Huw Puckle OP, PCA
Won 3 0 vs. Lithuania (Lithuania National Team)
Scorers: Alex Humphries OP, Huw Puckle OP, Ashleigh Aaron Lewis PS
Lost 0 1 vs. Ring Pass (Dutch club side)
Drew 0 0 vs. Toorak East Malvern (Australian club side)
Sunday Pool game results
Lost 0 3 vs. Monkstown (Irish club side)
Drew 0 0 vs. Toorak East Malvern (Australian club side)
5th vs. 6th Playoff
Lost 1 2 vs. Grossflottbeker (German side)
Scorer: Huw Puckle, OP
Finished 6th out of 12!
P 8 - W 2 - D 2 - L 4 - GF 7 - GA 8 - GD -1
Goal scorers: 4: Huw Puckle, 1: Freddie Campbell, Ashleigh Aaron Lewis, Alex Humphries.
Wales Under 16 Boys travelled to Holland to play in an international tournament in Valkenswaard which included international, regional and club teams from around the world. This was the first time the Under 16 boys had played in competitive fixtures in the international 2008 calendar. It was a very worthwhile trip with the players representing their country in a very professional manner and learning a great deal.
Twelve teams in total had entered the tournament and this saw two pools of 6 on the opening day with each team playing five one way 25 minute games. In their first fixture Wales played Antwerpen and took an early lead through a close finish by Freddie Campbell after an excellent run and elimination of the goalkeeper by Huw Puckle. After this Wales struggled to retain possession and the very talented Antwerpen took advantage of this and scored twice to win the game. In the end this was a fair result and Wales realised they had lots to learn from this encounter but by the end of the tournament Antwerpen had been crowned champions so no disgrace.
The second game was against the hosts HOD Volkenswaard who put Wales under a lot of early pressure but some excellent saves by George Radcliffe ensured HOD did not capitalise on this pressure. Wales made HOD pay for not taking their chances and a double by Huw Puckle ensured the Dragons their first win of the tournament. An international game against Lithuania was Walesâ€™s next opponents and goals from Alex Humphries, Huw Puckle and Ashleigh Aaron Lewis ensured another three points. If Wales were successful in their next game against another very strong Dutch club side they would be guaranteed a place in Sundays top six competition. Unfortunately whilst Wales played some excellent build hockey they could not create goal scoring opportunities and then Ring Pass despatched a killer blow by scoring in the final minutes. At this point it looked like Ring Pass would qualify and Wales would have to develop in the plate competition as Ring Pass had an easy game and Wales had to play the league leaders who had not dropped a point. However some excellent team defence with special mentions to Chris Howells for two excellent late saves and good defending by Billy Swarbrick, Patrick McDowell, Dale Hutchinson, Gareth Furlong, James Reason and Will Davies ensured a 0-0 draw with Toorak East Malvern. This point and a better goal difference than Ring Pass was enough to send the Dragons through to the Championship and Ring Pass into the Plate. Excellent first day with lots learnt and the Coaching and Management team identifying key areas for further development.
The first game on Sunday was against a very talented Irish club side who themselves had several junior internationals. The game ended 3-0 to Monkstown but this was the right result but a slightly flattering score line. Following a video analysis session in the morning Wales knew the areas to improve from day one and the game against Monkstown saw the team improve the areas that had been highlighted earlier in the day. Unfortunately whilst the players had improved in certain areas with a very good performance by Rory Thorburn the coaches also learnt new areas for development from this game. The coaches spent the time between this game and Walesâ€™s second encounter with the Australian team to give new direction to the Dragons. It was at this point that the coaching and management team were staggered with the amount of information that the players were not only taking on but also utilising in game situations. This was apparent in the second game of the day where once again they drew with Toorak East Malvern but through a much better performance with the midfielders of Ashleigh Aaron Lewis, Micheal Pennington, David Ryhs Goodfield and Ryhs Davies enjoyed much more possession than the previous meeting. Wales were then in the control of other results to see whether we could reach the semi finals. They required Monkstown to beat Toorak East Malvern by more than three goals. Unfortunately it was a 0-0 draw and this saw us go into the 5th vs. 6th playoff game against Grossflottbeker, a club side from Germany. After some excellent individual work by David Rhys Goodfield, Huw Puckle deflected his shot to take an early lead and also the top goal scoring honours for the Dragons. Unfortunately legs tired due to only have 2 outfield subs due to injuries and the German side scored twice to win the game and leave Wales in a very positive 6th position.
Wales Under 16 Boys developed extremely well this weekend and everyone involved should be proud of their professional attitude displayed at all times. The last mention of this report must go to Patrick McDowell who was awarded the player of the tournament for the boys section by the tournament director. Well done to all the players for an excellent weekend of development.