Friday, January 21, 2022

Hockey Paper’s 11 most read stories from 2021

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

The Hockey Paper enjoyed a record year in online traffic throughout 2021. Here, we reveal our most read stories of the year

  1. Bizarre ending, umpire goal error as GB and Belgium share spoils

A possible Tokyo 2020 win was taken away from GB men when, on the stroke of half time with the 1988 champions leading 1-0, they were denied a clear second goal after the ball crossed well over the line.

2. ‘Arrogant’ GB won Olympic gold by ‘pure luck’, claim top Dutch stars

Dutch hockey players took umbrage, in a story first published on hockey.nl, over comments made pre-match by Great Britain women as they booked a place in gold medal match at Tokyo Olympics.

3. Germany coach pleads for South Africa to embrace fringe sport

“We have seen years where the NOC held them back, not taking part in the Olympics because they thought they had no chance and I think that’s a very good message to the NOC: let us go, let us gather experience, we are worth it and they have totally proven it.” So said Germany coach Germany coach Kais Al Saadi.

4. ‘3G pitches will be death of grassroots hockey unless we speak out’

It was back in February when Horley highlighted their dismay over a decision to convert their pitches into 3G surfaces. Their plight caused a ripple and was the catalyst for our continued coverage on the issue  in 2021.

South Africa celebrate a momentous win against Germany at Tokyo 2020 PIC: REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

5. Forsyth misses out on GB men’s Olympic hockey squad

The Scot’s omission from the main Team GB Olympic squad and the aftermath was one of our most viewed set of stories of 2021. There was an outpouring of support for Forsyth, perennial leading scorer in the English league, and general bewilderment after being called up as a reserve.

6. England Hockey pathway: ‘Biggest issue is that we are losing parents’

There is still a “dark cloud” hanging over Tiverton White Eagles Juniors. The Devon-based side claim to be already losing junior players – and with it, much-needed volunteers – to a club earmarked as an accredited Talent Centre under England Hockey’s new talent development framework.

7. Half of GB Hockey’s Olympic squad state school educated

Analysis revealed that half of Great Britain’s Olympic squad went through the state school system, for some or all of their education. And it clearly resonated with our readers.

8. Fracas in heat as Argentina and Spain go head-to-head

Lucas Rossi used his stick to prod his fallen opponent, prompting a bad-tempered fracas as the players also contended with energy-sapping heat in the 1-1 draw.

9. 3G video highlights hockey plight from Newquay and beyond

“If hockey pitches continue to be replaced by non-hockey friendly surfaces, clubs will just fold and this great sport will be gone.”

Ashley Jackson, a passing exponent, quit the international game ahead of the Olympics

10. Ashley Jackson leaves GB Hockey ahead of Tokyo Olympics

Ashley Jackson, Britain’s record goalscorer and regarded as one of the country’s most talented players ever, quit the men’s national programme in March. He said he hoped he hadn’t put the shirt on for the last time. 

11. Fears over ‘super clubs’ creation in England Hockey talent plan

In September, fears were raised over the lack of detail in England Hockey’s new talent development framework, the creation of ‘super clubs’ suppressing player membership from others and the need to be open for alternative views.

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