Perse hockey team set for national finals after regional triumph
8 Mar 2019
The Olympic Park is where the Perse boys’ U14 hockey team will be heading next month after earning their place in the Notts Sport National Schools Championships finals.
Despite tough conditions, they won all three of their matches at the round-robin East finals to qualify for the national finals at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, which hosted the London 2012 hockey competition. The boys kept clean sheets throughout the tournament with a 1-0 win over Framlingham College sandwiched by 2-0 victories against Ipswich School and Gresham’s School.
The success came after comfortable progression from the county and regional rounds, following on from a pre-season training camp at Bisham Abbey, the England Hockey national training centre.
Coach Ravi Mahendra said: “I couldn’t be more proud of the boys who have worked very hard in training. It has been a full 16-man squad effort and the boys have played some excellent hockey in each stage of the tournament, showing maturity beyond their years.”
Captain Alex Cross and vice-captain George Richards were also delighted that The Perse team had reached the schools finals and hope they will do themselves justice on the big day.
Alex said: “We’ve worked really hard as a team this season and we knew if we played our best hockey at the East finals that we would deserve to go through. We knew we’d have to play very well against the other teams on the day.
“We got to the U13 finals last year and we’re looking forward to going again. Having the opportunity to go last year has made us work even harder to make sure we got there again. Our goal was to just try and get to the finals, but now we’re there, we want to put in a strong performance.
George, who plays in goal, said: “It’s our first year playing 11-a-side, so we’ve been working on that and learning about how to play the game well for future years, but everyone has also shown a lot of determination to do well because we know we have a lot of capability.
“I barely had to touch the ball in the East finals because we’ve got such a strong defence and a great midfield, which then supplies the attack, so we have a really good team. Everyone is buzzing for the national finals now.”