Wednesday, November 29, 2023

‘Ruthless’ England aim for Hockey World Cup riches under coach Revington

Rourkela — England men will undertake a ‘ruthless’ brand of hockey in their bid to win a first ever World Cup trophy, according to performance director Ed Barney.

England have also changed tact from the 2018 edition when they took their own chef and hired a restaurant after experiencing previous health concerns in Odisha.

“Some of our concerns have shifted and moved on from an environmental perspective,” said Barney.

Instead, England officials have put “more time and energy” into securing their favoured hotel in Bhubaneswar and for later in the tournament when they hope to qualify for the knock-out stages. They have already secured a small victory in landing their city-based hotel.

England landed in India on Friday and spent several days acclimatising in Bhubaneswar before moving to Rourkela where they will be staying in the sports complex adjacent to the new stadium.

Barney said that England coaches had been working on taking the team to a different plateau in the time they’ve been together since the autumn, interspersed with GB programme duties.

“We have been pushing hard, turning the screw from a volume intensity perspective and taking the squad to a different level,” said Barney.

“We are confident that we began to see the fruition of that in Argentina playing two top sides in the world. 

“Ultimately those games had a close element to them with the ability to fall either side but the pleasing thing was that three of four of those games we managed to come out the right side of, with an element of being ruthless and relentless.”

Should England reach the latter stages of the World Cup, Paul Revington’s side will hope to cross the line in matches which become edgy and fraught.

The Commonwealth Games semi-final against Australia springs to mind.

“We are trying to apply the attention to detail in various areas of the pitch that will deliver more of those medal moments or transitions into finals,” added Barney. “Our World Cup record is a big opportunity to make some history going forward.”

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