|8 Nov 2022|
I have recently represented Great Britain U21s in the 10th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. This tournament is an annual event (last played in 2019 – the two year break a result of COVID), which is made up of a selection of top international teams. This year, six teams (Australia, Great Britain, India, Japan, Malaysia and South Africa) competed for the illustrious trophy. Selection for the tournament for the Great Britain team is made from the best under 21 players from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales part of the Elite Development Programme.
During the two weeks I was out in Malaysia, I played in six competitive games (five coming in a round robin style before finishing with a placement match at the end). Throughout the tournament we consistently played an exciting, positive brand of hockey which resulted in us placing third, after beating Japan 3-1 in the bronze medal match. We unfortunately missed out on the final by two minutes however. Here, conceding a goal against India (in the last pool match) with two minutes to go, to draw the game 5-5, was the unfortunate moment that sent India, the eventual winner’s, to the final, and us to the bronze medal match.
One especially proud personal moment was having the opportunity to captain the team, and score, in our pool match versus Malaysia where we came out 4-2 victors. This achievement meant that I became the first Welshman to captain the Great Britain U21 team at the Sultan of Johor cup. The annual tournament acts as a springboard for international athletes to make the step up to the senior Great Britain setup which is something that I am aiming to do in the next few years. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of playing in this special tournament in what was a taxing, but incredibly unique environment.
In the next six months, I am additionally competing for selection for the Wales Men’s Senior team for the upcoming prestigious Men’s World Cup (in India) in January 2023.
I would like to thank the Vincent’s Club for providing important support that makes it possible for me to attend these tournaments; and I look forward to continuing to work with the club both during my time at university, but also beyond.
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