15 DAYS TO GO!!!
Just 15 days out from the start of the Belfius EuroHockey Championships, Antwerp where our Men will be competing in the top division for the first time since 1999.
An incredible achievement for this squad to make it to where they are today, and what better opening game would there be to open their European Campaign than against fellow home nation England. A definite save the date – Saturday 17th August at 10:15am (BST).
Head Coach Zak Jones is happy with the progress made since Malaysia FIH Series Finals and talked to us about the upcoming championships:
With competition for places being incredibly fierce, selection for this years EuroHockey Championships has been the most challenging I can remember. Whilst this is a really positive indicator of the depth we continue to develop and a clear reflection of the strength of the squad as a whole. I would also like to acknowledge that it also means that there will be some very disappointed athletes, and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their continued commitment to and support of the programme.
I have been really pleased with the purpose, intensity and quality of this training block, as well as the progress we have made in some key aspects of our play since Malaysia.
The selected squad has a very balanced look about it. It includes three centurions, a number of other very experienced players, as well as some promising younger talent. Amongst the younger group is the impressive Rhys Bradshaw, who at 18 will be playing in his first major senior international tournament, whilst Jonny Gooch and Rhodri Furlong are in line to earn their 50th caps during the competition. Having stepped seamlessly into a leadership role in Malaysia, I am delighted to confirm Rupert Shipperley as one of our three co-captains, alongside the already established pair of Lewis Prosser and Luke Hawker.Antwerp presents the squad with another fantastic opportunity to continue to develop and grow, as well as a chance to showcase its growing belief, talents, abilities and togetherness on an elite hockey stage.With five of the eight teams at the tournament ranked in the World’s top ten and a pool that includes the current World Champions, Belgium, World number six, England and world number nine Spain, the squad are under no illusions about the quality of the opposition they face. However, the whole squad are incredibly excited by the opportunity and challenge the tournament presents and a really looking forward to representing Wales with immense passion and pride
Jack Tranter (Surbiton Hockey Club)
James Fortnam (Cardiff & Met Hockey Club)
Gareth Furlong (Tilburg Hockey Club)
Jonny Gooch (Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club)
Dan Kyriakides (Crefelder Hockey Club)
Hywel Jones (Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club)
Steve Kelly (Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club)
Jacob Draper (Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club)
Lewis Prosser © (East Grinstead Hockey Club)
Rhodri Furlong (Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club)
Dale Hutchinson (Tilburg Hockey Club)
Rupert Shipperley © (Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club)
Ben Francis (Wimbledon Hockey Club)
Luke Hawker © (Cardiff & Met Hockey Club)
Rhys Bradshaw (Cardiff & Met Hockey Club)
James Carson (Royal Beerschot Hockey Club)
Joe Naughalty (East Grinstead Hockey Club)
Alf Dinnie (Cardiff & Met Hockey Club)
Ioan Wall (Swansea Hockey Club)