Despite a tough start to the season after some agonising defeats, Harry Stone of the Men’s 1s, revealed why a positive mindset could lead to some points on the board in the coming games. Vinay Patel was on hand to find out more, before Harry jets off to Malaysia to represent the Great Britain U21s.
The Men’s 1s’ losing streak was extended by local rivals Beeston, after a 4-0 defeat. They currently sit bottom of the Premier Division table, in desperate need of a win.
Following another tough defeat on Saturday [against Beeston], what are some of the main issues that need to be addressed?
“We probably want to focus on starting our games strong, so in warm-up, we put great emphasis on being together as one unit. But again, we need transfer that into when we actually play, to start in the first 15 minutes and maybe get a goal, we don’t necessarily have to win the match in the first ten minutes.”
Being switched on and everyone knowing their job from the start, is vital
“But being on the front foot from the start, so as to not put ourselves at a disadvantage and go 2-0 down really quickly. Being switched on and everyone knowing their job from the start, is vital.”
The Green and Gold will hope to end their losing streak in front of the home fans on Saturday, as they welcome Cardiff & Met, who have a slender four point advantage over the hosts.
How important is it that you get three points on the board against another struggling side, in Cardiff & Met?
“Yeah, very important. We’ve not got any points at the moment, but these three points would be very beneficial for us and probably put our season in good shape for the rest of the year. I think everyone would be super, super over the moon [with three points].”
Having played exactly half of their games, the Men’s 1s will want to elevate their league standing before the Premier Division divides into smaller groups, based on their final position in December.
As we approach the halfway stage in this phase of the league, what’s your overview of the season so far?
“In terms of the Saturday fixtures, I thought we had a really good start, against Old Georgians, in our 4-1 loss [on opening day]. We definitely gave a great account of ourselves and then we’ve had some unlucky results, which could have gone either way against Reading and East Grinstead.”
“Hopefully in the second part of the season we’ll just transfer them and hopefully come out on the other side of those results.”
Harry, alongside Ted Graves and captain Max Anderson, will fly out to Malaysia on Sunday with the rest of the Great Britain Under-21s squad, to play in the Sultan of Johor Cup.
In spite of the squad’s pitfalls in the Premier Division, do you think representing the GB U21s in Malaysia is a testament to UoN hockey’s strength in development?
It really helps you become a better version of yourself
“One hundred per cent, UoN hockey have really improved me as a player and pushed me on. The standards we have at training and the way every individual pushes one another in the gym, on the hockey pitch and in life. It really helps you become a better version of yourself.”
The 11th edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup, will feature eight teams, as the competition is played over seven days in Johor Bahru.
What are you looking forward to the most in Malaysia?
“I’d probably say the variety of hockey styles you play against. You get to play lots of teams who aren’t really on the European circuit, so I’ve never played New Zealand and we get to play the likes of India, Malaysia and it’s always great to play these guys.”
“Also the general tournament, there are great costs involved but it’s all covered by the Sultan. So it’s a wonderful experience for lots of uni students, to practically come over and have this amazing time in a different culture, with a completely different environment.”
The Men’s 1s game against Cardiff & Met will begin at a slightly earlier time of 4.30pm on Saturday, while the GB U21s have a few days to acclimate, before their first match against Australia.
Featured image courtesy of UoN Sport. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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