“It was the best weekend of my life!”
U18 Girl from the 2016 Tour
Tournament report by Tom Marriott the Girls Head Tour Coach
A group of young, excited and wide eyed girls stepped onto the coach to Holland. With none of them having been to Krimpen before, they were a little nervous but after getting to know their charming and hilarious coaches, Tom and Josh, their nerves were soon put at ease. After plenty of organised fun on the long journey there, the girls arrived full of energy and ready to meet their Dutch hosts. One of the rules set by the coaches was for the girls to respect the Maidenhead badge both on and off the pitch and they all certainly stuck to this rule throughout the first night.
All of them got involved, were very social and were sensible enough to not follow the example Josh was setting...
On the Friday, only friendly games were played which was a good opportunity for the girls to develop friendships with the lovely Krimpen girls and even some of the Brigg girls. The girls were lucky enough to witness Tom and Josh play in the legends game which I'm sure they'll all agree was an honour and they would have learnt a lot. The Friday night brought about more laughter, especially when the youngest member of the team, Becky Adlard, turned out to be the most savage in the nightly fines session.
On Saturday morning the girls arrived a little tired however an honest amnesty session meant some interesting stories were revealed from the night before which everyone found very amusing. The girls first competitive game of the weekend was against Krimpen which is not a fixture that Tom has fond memories of from previous years of coaching. The girls did some Tomrobics in preparation for the game but they looked a little nervous as they stepped on to the field. Krimpen have always been a physical team and this year was no different with some of the Dutch girls being twice the side of Maidenhead girls and 3 times the size of Becky Hayward.
With the nerves, physicality of the opposition and some very clinical finishing, the girls found themselves 10-0 down at the end of the game; a scoreline which was rather harsh on Maidenhead. However, Tom and Josh were delighted to see the girls heads had not dropped and instead they were looking forward to taking the lessons they learnt and use that in the Brigg game. With only a short break between the 2 games, the girls had to quickly pick themselves up and show the supporting Lucas parents what they were made of. With Teona driving the girls forward with some unbelievable runs, the girls quickly dispatched Brigg and scored 3 in the first half. With Jess, Lizzie, and Becky getting on the scoresheet, the girls were brimming with confidence and the second half saw a further 2 goals from melody and Jess with some wonderful team play and some neat finishing. That evening the girls also won the best fancy dress with everyone smashing the toy story theme with their motto of Passion, Energy and Enthusiasm being shown both on and off the pitch.
All the photos of the action can be found here.
The first game on the Sunday was again against Krimpen although the girls looked a lot more confident going into this game. With a motivating team talk and some small tactical tweaks, the girls started outrageously well and Krimpen had their backs against the walls. With the proud coaches looking on from the sideline, the girls played some liquid hockey. Lead by their captain Lizzie Lucas who was in inspired form, Maidenhead deservedly got the first goal and the crowd went wild. Maidenhead were the dominant team however 2 quick counter attacks meant they were 2-1 down by half time. In the second half Krimpen scored another early goal however Maidenhead fought back and made it 3-2 With another great team goal finished by player of the tournament Teona. The game was very even after this point and some saves from Becky were so good, people in the crowd referred to her as Gandalf. Some gutsy defending by Athena, Jade, Bloor and Amy nearly brought a tear to the coaches eyes as they took on board everything they had been told about the need to be more physical.
It was only when an injury to key player Claire Phillips, who had been all over the opposition defence, that Krimpen were able to score again. One moment of madness from Bloor right at the death led to her side footing the ball into her own net making the final score 5-2. Regardless of the result, the difference in the team from the day before was staggering and Tom and Josh were brimming with pride. The game against Brigg was a tired display due to the effort from the previous game, but the girls still managed to win 2-0, with Sophie Lucas coming very close to making it 3. Goals from Athena and the dynamite Becky Hayward meant it had been a successful tournament for Maidenhead and everyone was then able to support the boys in their final game which saw them win the tournament. The girls managed to beat the boys at the wibbly wobbly race which was really the icing on the cake of what was already a fantastic weekend.
Sunday night was a night filled with more smiles, singing and international relationships and it was so lovely to see this originally quiet, shy bunch of girls now singing on tables and dancing with Dutchies. The Maidenhead girls may not have won on the pitch, But off the pitch they were head and shoulders above the other teams! One can only hope they enjoyed it enough to repeat next year!
Tournament report by Callum Turner Head Boys Tour Coach
It was that time of year again as a talented and determined group of U18 boys set out on yet another fantastic tour to Krimpen in search of the trophy which has been missing from Maidenhead for 4 years. After arriving on the Thursday evening and meeting the host families they were staying with the boys got stuck in on the first night integrating well with the both krimpen & brigg teams getting into that tour spirit, some more than others.
On the Friday after a long night for some we played the legends game where the old boys of Maidenhead Brigg and Krimpen battled it out once again rolling back the years learning a thing or two from there 2 coaches. Following this the boys took part in the mixed friendly games where the 3 teams spilt & all joined forces to play against one another which again was an opportunity for the boys to get to know there opposition whilst building on the friendships they made the previous night. DOTD on the Friday was a no brainer with centre back Anthony Brayshaws antics from the night before meaning he had to wear the dreaded pants.
Following yet another fun-filled evening the boys met bright and early on the Saturday morning to discuss the previous nights events and get into preparation for the big matches ahead. Kicking off the tournament was the much anticipated Maidenhead against Krimpen game which exceeded expectations. The veterans of the team James denman gave the visitors the lead in the first half followed by a quick double from Cameron Upton early on in the second. But that wasn't enough for the victory as a brave and thrilling fight back from Krimpen with 3 quick successive goals in 10 minutes left for an exciting but nerve racking final 5 minutes. A thriller for the neutral but one which all of us to put behind us as the next game against Brigg was a only 10 minutes later. With little rest after the tough game the boys really put a huge shift in against Brigg. With the brick wall that was Jake Maury and the ever determined Zac Gordon-smith gave Brigg little opportunity to break Maidenheads defence. Tiredness was put aside and Maidenhead dug deep with a comfortable 5-0 win following some excellent team and individual goals putting us top of the table at the end of what was a tiring day for the boys.
The Saturday evening was upon which meant it was the fancy dress night with the boys choosing coloured crayons as there theme as much to the delight of Phil.
All the photos of the action can be found here.
The first game on Sunday came around knowing that a win would put Maids in pole position to bring back the trophy with many colourful yet fresh looking faces from night before the team were all set and raring to go to avenge the comeback that Krimpen had managed the day before. Getting off to an early and impressive start Maidenhead took a 5-0 lead into the first half with a stunning first half hatrick from Aran Wellman. Adding another to his tally in the second half followed by a superb solo effort from the highly rated Richard Mulvany on top some great team goals meant Maidenhead finished up 9-3 winners. With Brigg and Krimpen then drawing Maids had all but sealed the title knowing that only a 9-0 defeat would take the title away from us. The final game of what had been a thrilling weekend of some fantastic hockey by the boys was finally upon us. But tiredness and injuries prevailed with Maidenhead only managing a 1-1 with some outstanding saves from the rock at the back in Ted Slater & with the determined Richard Mulvany and the rest of the front line trying to grab a winner but couldn't quite squeeze one in.
Nevertheless the boys finished top which was the first time in 4 years since we have won the historic trophy which is a huge and massive achievement by every single one of them. Following a great speech by captain Alex hodgetts the boys then took part in the annual Wibbly wobbly race against the girls in which somehow the boys managed to lose but was a great way to end what was a fantastic weekend on and off the pitch. The final evening unfortunately came around (too soon) yet again it was that time to party and enjoy the night with many new friends. The boys showed the team spirit, passion and enthusiasm which they had showed all weekend which was a delight to see from both myself and Phil in which we throughly enjoyed every single minute of. It was a pleasure to coach the boys and go on tour with such a nice and enjoyable bunch of lads and one I hope they will remember for a long time!!
Richard Mulvany and Teona Goodge won Player of the Tournament
Updated 14:53 - 24 Apr 2017 by Maidenhead Hockey Club