Loughts youngsters go in search of more hockey glory
PUBLISHED: 16:30 26 April 2013
Old Loughtonians girls looking to go one better than last year
Old Loughtonians under-16 girls are looking to go one better than last year when they travel up to Wolverhampton for the National Indoor Club finals on Saturday.
And the under-16 boys will also be on parade at the event as the Chigwell-based club eye a double celebration.
Last year the girls’ team finished as runners-up in the competition and manager Paul Holmes believes they can vie for the title again this time round.
“We were third in the outdoor competition a couple of weeks ago and around 10 of those 15 girls will be competing this weekend,” he said.
“It is a very different game indoors, but we will see many of the teams we played outdoors, so we will know something about them and I think they may have had a close look at some of our players too.”
The competition had to be postponed in January because of the bad weather, and has now been concertinaed into one day, with the girls playing their first match at 10.20am and the final scheduled for 6.20pm that evening.
“It is going to be a very long day,” said Holmes.
“We are taking two keepers and nine outfield players, so with only five players needed for each game, hopefully we will be strong enough to rotate a little in the group games and save a little bit for the later stages of the competition.”
Loughts find themselves in a group with Surbiton, Kirkby Londsale and Team Bath, all of whom they have had close battles with this season, while Lichfield make up the five-team group.
Games have been reduced to 15 minutes each, making each match something of a lottery when it comes to a result. “The aim is to get through the group and make it into the semi-finals, after that it is anybody’s title,” said a confident Holmes.
“We finished a superb second last year when many of the girls were having their first experience of an event like that. This time we have a couple of girls who have been to the National Schools’ finals so that will certainly help. We will give it everything on the day and with the boys team there as well, we’ll certainly have plenty of support.”
The boys will face holders Havant, alongside an impressive Belper team, Isca and Preston as they look to battle into the semi-finals, having lost in the group stages last year.
“Hopefully the boys can show their full potentital. There is a sense of using last year’s failure as an incentive,” said manager Gerald Head.
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