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Army Hockey U23 Tour

U23 Development Squad
Season 2012/13

I would like to begin by thanking the following, Brian Mower for his continued scouting of new players, Lt Col Alan Flavell and Charlotte for their assistance throughout the season and my Head Coach Cpl Jim Fowler.

The Scotland Tour

The plan was to take 25 players on tour, unfortunately due to Ops, Courses, injuries etc, we only muster 13 players for the tour. Results as follows,

Inverleith HC 5-2 Loss Indoor
North U21 7-5 Win Indoor
Mixed U21/ Aberdeen Team 8-6 Loss Indoor
Granite City Warriors 8-5 Win Indoor
Highland HC 4-2 Win Outdoor
Gordonstoun School 3-3 Draw Outdoor

Although not full first team squads, Inverleith are the current Scottish Indoor Champions, Granite City Warriors are also a National League team so our performances against all our opposition on tour far exceeded expectations. Mr Jim Patel and Lt Col Terry Lees ensured that we did not disgrace ourselves on the pitch as well. So overall an excellent tour where players learnt how to play Indoor hockey, which I hope to repeat again next season.

Inter Service Indoor

We entered the tournament with high expectations, the squad was well prepared and as strong as possible, our first fixture was against the RAF, although we dominated the entire game we could not covert our chances and allowed the RAF to get back into the game through lapse of concentration, final result 2-2.

The RN would prove to be slightly stronger opponents, however, this game followed the format of our earlier fixture, the Army dominated but failed to covert our chances and although we held a slender lead until the last minute, the game was never safe and a contested PF decision to the RN again resulted in a 2-2 draw.

It is fair to say that the team never reach the heights that had been achieved on the tour, however, on a positive note, the entire squad is available for at least next season and for 5 of the players, the next 4 seasons and the real bonus is that as a group, we are now playing Indoor Hockey.

Outdoor Fixtures

Our January fixtures had to be cancelled due to the weather. February’s fixtures had to be cancelled due to lack of player availability. We tried at the request of the previous years squad to move the fixtures to midweek to enable them to play for club sides at weekends, this obviously did not work and I will move the fixtures back to weekends for next season.

Inter Service Outdoor Tournament

The squad assembled from the Thursday before the competition, this we hoped would give us sufficient time to build a competitive team for the tournament. Once again a number of players could not attend due to career course, not released from phase 2 units, Op tours, Canada, Kenya etc. However, a small squad of 11 outfield players and 3 keepers was put through their paces by Jim Fowler and Stu Tognarelli in preparation for the tournament.

The RN would be our first opponents, a strong team that in truth was destroyed by the Army in the first half, 3 good goals open play and a lucky PF in the last minute for the RN was a fair reflection of the balance of play. The game became a little scrappy in the second half but with the Army outscoring the RAF by 4-2 meant that we had won a competitive match 7-3.

With the RAF managing a 1-0 win over the RN our hopes were therefore high for an Army victory. The game never really got started, it what was a scrappy event from the start, full of poor tackles and aggressive play by our opponents the Army never looked in control as we had in our previous fixture. 1-0 to the RAF at halftime probably reflected the balance of play. Some stern words of encouragement from the management ensured that the game in the second half was more balanced, however, it was only in the last 15 minutes that we started to take control of the game and to create any chances, the pressure finally told and a goal from a short corner reflected the balance of play. Further opportunities were squandered but a final score of 1-1 ensured that the Army came out on top due to the greater goal difference from our first fixture.

So in all, 4 fixtures played, 3 wins and a draw is ok, not what we had hoped for but with all of the disruptions and player availability a positive outcome to the season. As such I think we are going in the right direction, I have produced a development plan that is with the Chair now for consideration. Hopefully, now with the reduce commitment to Ops, the squad should gain some order of stability, and we might be able to get some of players back to strengthen the team for next year. The new overage options still needs to be looked at, whilst I have called this report the development squad, yes it is but it is also a team that needs to play together to develop and as such, I would like to identify those overage players for both the Indoor tournament and Outdoor season early in order for them to come on tour with us in October. If this is possible, then these players will be a part of the squad from the start of training, not appearing just before the event itself. This current system does not allow us to develop a formation or style of play, it is very difficult when the first thing you do when you get your squad together before a tournament is to introduce everyone to each other.

I am still looking for new players for next season as well as 2 assistant Level 1 coaches, CV to the manager please.

Peter Rosser
Team Manager
Army U23 Squad

BirminghamOTC-Adjt
9 4424 8170

Please follow the linkArchived Scotland Tour 2012