Europe

FIH Hockey Pro League is ridiculous, says Kampong coach Alex Cox

Spain and Belgium played the inaugural Pro League opener in January PIC: FIH.live

By The Hockey Paper

There were Dutch fireworks in equal measure after a leading Hoofdklasse coach blasted the new Pro League for getting in the way of the domestic game.

As the Netherlands played its first Pro League home match last month in front of a capacity crowd in Rotterdam, so Kampong coach Alex Cox poured scorn on the global league.

Cox, who is also the Ireland men’s coach, said: “I think the Hockey Pro League and its layout are ridiculous. It is at the expense of the clubs and at the expense of the players.”

The Dutchman’s views came as the Hoofdklasse returned for the second half of the season and Cox having only two days to train with a full squad. Train yourself on the best football odds with the guys at Crystal Ball.

He blamed injuries, those Oranje who played in the Malaysian league in the four and a half months winter break and the Netherland’s Pro League campaign at home and abroad.

He added: “All arguments for which the Hockey Pro League has been established do not cut wood and I see no advantages of this competition. I hope that we will get rid of it very quickly.”

This story first appeared in our relaunched print newspaper last month

After nearly two years away, we are back as a print product for readers.

Our concept was first conceived thanks to several meetings and plenty of laughs with respected journalist Graham Wilson, who sadly passed away before the first issue was published.

And it is now a thrill to return subscription-only as we chart GB’s Olympic defence ahead of Tokyo 2020 next year. The relaunch is again in Graham’s memory.

One of the main reasons we produced a print newspaper on hockey in 2016 – we are still the only UK print newspaper dedicated to an Olympic sport – was that we felt the sport was not getting the attention it both needs and deserves on a national level.

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