Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ollie Payne: ‘Goalkeeper style Mark Hickman has brought into UK hockey suits me’

England Hockey No 1 Ollie Payne on his rise through the ranks

A smile spreads across Ollie Payne’s face as he opens up on his meteoric rise to become England and GB No.1 and the little club in Totnes which gave him the grounding. “For me Dart HC was perfect,” says Payne. “Big clubs work for some people but for me Dart was entertaining and it always kept me on my toes.

“It was very sociable. You played hard, then sat in the clubhouse, just like a majority of the hockey world knows. And they are the first to message me when I’m doing well and they are always there.”

Payne seemingly came from nowhere in July 2020 as he was called up to the GB programme before playing a prominent role at the 2021 EuroHockey and then becoming the nation’s No.1 at Tokyo 2020 when he overtook the long-serving pair of George Pinner and Harry Gibson.

So, what’s behind the magic? 

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