Saturday, May 18, 2024

Pro League: Toby Reynolds-Cotterill on debut weekend, GB Hockey and ‘proud’ late father

Toby Reynolds-Cotterill is looking for work after completing his Masters in project management. On the field, the Welsh goalkeeper managed a successful double header weekend following his first caps for Great Britain.

Reynolds-Cotterill dovetailed with James Mazarelo in the GB goal as the high-flying men beat India 4-2 then Olympic champions Belgium 3-1 to leap clear at the top of the FIH Pro League standings.

After being selected for the GB programme in February 2022, Reynolds-Cotterill admitted to a strange feeling as he finally kitted up on Saturday for the first time.

“The large proportion of the GB squad is from England and playing for Wales I come up against them alot,” he told The Hockey Paper. “It is kind of a weird feeling and walking out onto the pitch for the first time. But now I got the first cap out of the way, I feel very much at home and comfortable. 

“It’s a very welcoming culture under Revs [Paul Revington]. I was very nervous walking out onto the field for the first time but once that first save came everything was okay.”

It says something of the strength in GB goalkeeping that, aged 25, Reynolds-Cotterill is the oldest of the current trio in the programme. Ollie Payne was missing this weekend — a ‘rotational’ decision, GB Hockey said — with the GB No.1 messaging Reynolds-Cotterill before Saturday’s game.

Toby Reynolds-Cotterill runs out durng the men’s Hockey World Cup PIC: Worldsportpics

After his Welsh debut in late 2021, Reynolds-Cotterill has made great strides, having also played for Wales at the men’s World Cup and experienced the travails of having to pay to play for his country.

“You recognise the privileges and the luxuries you have with GB,” the Hampstead & Westminster stopper said. “With Wales, everyone pays to be there while at GB you can have as much support as you want.”

Reynolds-Cotterill’s father passed away in early 2022 — the anniversary falling a day before Wales beat France in their World Cup classification game in Rourkela — and the goalkeeper admitted that he would have proudly taken his seat at Lee Valley having not missed an international game featuring his son.

“He wasn’t a big hockey man but he supported me in everything I did,” he said. “He pushed me, not in a negative way, and always said if I played well to remember the next game, the next goal. 

“It’s sad that he’s not here but one of the lucky things I had was when he came to watch the last hockey game at the World Cup qualifiers. He saw me play for Wales and the Welsh part of the family comes from him. He would have loved to be here.”

Off the field, Reynolds-Cotterill worked in a school recently and finished his Masters in project management just before the World Cup. “I’m looking for work at the moment. If there is anyone out there in project management, please get in touch,” he smiled.

Total Hockey

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