During the Christmas break, a pre-season Hockey tour to Barcelona saw two Radley teams produce some excellent gameplay. Below is a trip summary for both the 1st XI and Colts hockey tour.
1st XI hockey tour
The first XI tour began in the early hours of the morning on January 2 with an early flight to Barcelona. After only a few hours rest, a flight, and a bus ride, we arrived at Terrassa for our first match against a local side called Linia 22.
From the team’s point of view this was a game where basics needed to be consolidated and tactics remembered. I think it is fair to say that, for the first match, we were not ready to play a team who, although rough around the edges, offered some very skillful players who finished their chances well. The match ended in a 3-0 loss and Maxim McGrigor was unanimously named as man of the match.
The next morning we arrived at Club Egara, one of the best men’s sides in Spain, to play their under 18s. As a team we entered the match with a renewed sense of purpose and understanding with a new formation and playing style. This was most prominently displayed by Hamish Wishart who seemed to find his feet as the second half began and had an excellent half rewarded with the man of the match award coming his way. The final result was 1-1 and well deserved as everyone showed great skill and determination against a good club side.
On the third morning the last match was played against Iluro hockey club. By this time the team were all very proficient in their respective roles as well as being stiff from the amount of hockey being played. Despite this, we produced a fine display of passing hockey resulting in a well-deserved 2-0 win. After the match Luke Stalder, captain for the game, was awarded the man of the match award and the customary pink socks too for his fantastic performance in the attack.
As one reflects on the matches it seems the team were all of a similar standard so to go from a loss, to a draw, to a win only goes to show the hard work within the squad to produce some excellent gameplay and is testament to the coaching team too. We go into this season as a very formidable team with high hopes for success, best summed up by the wise words of James Cunningham,”an unbeaten season has to be the aim”.
James Maidment, c
Colts hockey tour
On Saturday the 2nd of January, at 5:30 in the morning, 18 colts made their way to Heathrow airport for our 2016 hockey tour to Barcelona! We were straight into our first match that afternoon, against some young but determined opposition from Liana 22 hockey club. Fortunately we hit the ground running, scoring 8 goals including a hat trick from James Skinner. A clean sheet as well meant confidence was high for our second match - a much harder test.
Our second match was against Club Egara, one of the top hockey clubs in Spain with a strong youth team. We played well and got off to a good start with an early goal from Harry Foreman but the opposition were too strong for us and we were eventually beaten 3-1.
After a useful training session the previous day, we felt like a much better team going into our final match Iluro hockey club. Despite an early goal for the opposition, we knew we could pull the match back in our favour and did just that, going 4-1 up by half time. We didn't stop there, finishing the match 8-1, with sublime goals from Freddie Jodrell, Matt Raikes, James Skinner, Giles Elmhirst and Rufus Darwall, amongst others.
The match practice and extra training sessions served as excellent preparation for the forthcoming season and confidence is high that we could have an even more successful season than last year!
We're all really grateful to all the coaches that organised and went on the tour, it was a great trip!
Benedict Yorston, b