Head Coach Lee Ible has announced the Wales U18 Boys hockey squad, competing in the European Championships held on home soil in Cardiff at the end of July.
The 18-strong squad, which this weekend held its final training session ahead of the event later this month, are very much looking forward to the challenge and the fact it’s being held in their backyard.
The event can’t come soon enough for Ible:
This is my third Euros as Head Coach and I am just as excited as I was for the first. With the event being held in Cardiff it adds a different dynamic to the competition. We know the venue well, it’s a pitch we have played and trained on countless times and with the support of a large and vocal home crowd we just can’t wait to get started. We have prepared well and the boys are in good spirits and are confident in what we can achieve. The atmosphere around the camp is very positive
Of the 18 players selected, two have been part of both Ible’s previous European Championship squads; young Rhys Bradshaw being one of them! Bradshaw recently picked up his first caps at a senior international level, and during the same tournament bagged himself two senior international goals. The other is goalkeeper Rhys Payne, who was just 14 years old when he appeared at the tournament in Calais 2015. The squad further boasts eight players who won gold at the 2016 EuroHockey 5s in Vilnius, Lithuania. One of them is captain Will Riley, who along with Will Faragher and Miles Margeston, also have previous U18 European experience, having been part of the squad in Glasgow two years ago.
Captain Will Riley is in positive mood:
We have trained really well in the last few camps and there is a confidence in the squad that we can do well. Most of us have played together many times before for Wales and we have belief in what we can do. To play in a Europeans is a great achievement, I’m fortunate enough that this is my second one and to captain the team at the tournament is a huge honour
Riley’s sentiments are echoed by Ible:
It’s an experienced squad we have this year and that can only be of benefit. With a large number having tasted success in European competition before, it gives the group good experiences to drawn upon and use to help drive our performances in the tournament. This is probably the oldest squad we have taken to an U18 championships, which sounds an odd thing to say in regards to an U18 event, but that maturity is a real strength and I’m sure will help us through the matches we play. They are a great group of lads, who are mates on and off the field and it’s a privilege to work with them
|Rhys Bradshaw||Cardiff & Met|
|Henry Davies||Wrexham Glyndwr|
|Rhys Payne||Cardiff & Met|
|Will Riley||Cardiff & Met|
|Fergus Stevens||Cardiff & Met|
|Jet Treasure-Jeffreys||Cardiff & Met|