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Hockey in Barcelona
1st XI Boys' Pre-Season Hockey Tour to Barcelona
A squad of 17 players in the 1st XI boys’ hockey side travelled to Barcelona for a pre-season tour in early January to play in the 71st edition of the prestigious Hockey Reyes International tournament hosted by Real Club de Polo.
In the pool stages, the Canford team were very pleased to beat FC Barcelona 3-2 before edging past Pedralbes HC 2-1. Both were encouraging displays in terms of a team identity and attacking passing mentality. The third pool game, against a strong Willem College from Utrecht, was a hard fought game but resulted in a 2-0 Willem victory.
This meant playing another Spanish team Iluro HC in the 3rd/4th crossover match. A good first half ensured a 3-1 lead. We should have added to our tally after the break, but their keeper was inspired. Fatigue was expectedly evident towards the end, but again, the boys showed composure to achieve a 3-1 win and claim 3rd place overall. The hosts RC de Polo beat Willem 4-1 in the final; Polo with 2 or 3 junior international players and Willem with a Holland U18 player. So 3rd place was a tremendous result for Canford.
At the official Gala Dinner, Captain Matt Daubeney gave a well executed speech in Spanish upon acceptance of a gift from the RC Polo. During the trip there was also the chance to visit the Barcelona ‘92 Olympic stadium and to see a football match involving FC Barcelona’s B squad. Further training followed as well as the chance for some sightseeing including the Port Vell cable car and Las Ramblas. The tour ended with the traditional awards night dinner.
Matt Collison, Director of Hockey, commented
“With access to high quality facilities, the opportunity to train and play on foreign soil against the varied playing styles of teams from across Europe, this tour was a fantastic way for players to build connections as a team in advance of the challenging domestic fixture list and U18 Tier 1 League campaign. The Hockey Reyes International invitation-only tournament is among the most highly rated on the European hockey circuit and for Canford to come 3rd bodes extremely well, improving on our 5th place position in 2018. I was also very proud of the way the boys conducted themselves both on and off the pitch, and my thanks go to all the staff involved including Carolina Bamballi from FTI Sports Tours and to the many parents and family supporters, some of whom who kindly flew out to help make this tour such a memorable success.”
For more information about Hockey at Canford, please visit www.canford.com/Hockey