In our last game against France we still had the chance to play for 5th place. However we needed to win the game by a clear goal margin, otherwise we would finish 6th depending on the results of the German game.
In the first half we managed to defend well on our restricted man to man pressuring the man with the ball. This helped us to keep the score level at 1-1 at half time.
The French team were stronger than us in the second half and deserved to win the match.
The French dynamics in both defence and attack created a lot of problems for us as they closed down our pass lines. Our team lost possession of the ball before we could complete 3 or 4 passes. This was more obvious in the second half as our team got tired and couldn’t keep their focus in defence and to break on a counter attack as they had done in the first half.
I am very pleased with the overall performance of the team, finishing in 7th place which is higher than the past 2 years (finishing in 8th place), considering we had the youngest team in the competition with 7 players still eligible for next year’s Under 17 Europeans.
It was very impressive that England played competitive games (even first half against Spain) which showed that we are closing the gap and that we will be aiming to play for top 5 in next year’s Europeans.
One of the problems in our sport at this level is the way that the calendar is decided, it is not a fair calendar for some teams.
For example England played 5 games in 48 hours! It is completely unacceptable as the result against Germany, where we lost 3-2, shows this. Germany played one game in 40 hours whilst we played four games. This game was very important to guarantee 6th place.
I spoke to European Committee who agreed that the calendar has to be more fair to everyone.
England played eight games, winning four and losing four. We scored 41 goals and conceded 32 goals, with a +9 goal difference, which is a big achievement considering that two of the games were against the gold and bronze medals teams (Spain and Italy).
The team were great both on and off the rink, always looking united.
All players scored goals, which shows our dynamic was to ensure everyone both defended and attacked.
Spencer Berry - 10 (finished top 4th in Top Scorers, only two Spanish and one French player finished above Spencer)
Pau Dickin – 9
Mark Dickin – 7
Joe Chipperfield – 5
Josh Owen – 4
Harvey Dugdale – 3
Joseph Hawes – 2
Ehab Nasir – 1
I decided to take three goalkeepers (Edan Emery-Webber, Haydn Willett and Robert Simpson) to this competition and I have to say that they all acted in a very professional manner, always accepting my decisions.
A big thanks to my management, Jason Oldroyd, Joe Wheatley, Karl Owen and Pedro Lourenco for a great job done.
Special thanks to all the parents for the financial commitments, the great support given to the team during every game and the positive comments that I received.
Well done to the boys and I am looking forward for next year’s Europeans
Yours in sport,
NRHA Coaching Director