Friday, May 24, 2024

GB Hockey goalkeeper Ollie Payne: We want to make winning and medalling a habit

Ollie Payne, the GB and Holcombe goalkeeper, says the Pro League looks set to be a tighter affair as the men’s side look to win the global hockey league for the first time after stumbling at the final hurdle in the last edition.

The former Durham University goalkeeper has a combined 66 international caps for England and GB having broken into the senior set-up ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

At 24, Payne could be heading to his second Games in Paris where Paul Revington’s side harbour serious hopes of medalling.

He told the Holcombe website recently: “I’ll hopefully be involved in the summer, just got to keep working hard, keep improving and keep growing with the side.

“Preparation is coming along well, it’s been positive since Oman, we certainly needed some training time after spending a lot of time in hotel rooms in the last few months, playing a lot of games.

“With that, it’s about trying to peak and stay at that peak whereas now we can build a little bit more which has been important.

“Preparation has been good, it’s been a physical lot so that’s probably why there have been more injuries from the lads in and around the programme, but that’s just because we’re getting to a level that we need to be at to achieve our goals in the summer, it’s just unfortunate.

“I’ve got a bit of a sore body but can’t complain too much given I’m not really doing the running!

Great Britain host a series of games in the men’s and women’s competition ahead of both teams heading to the Paris Olympics this sumner.

“The home Pro League games are always a highlight of the summer, it’s so nice to play in front of friends, family, people from the club here, it’s brilliant,” added Payne.

“When the sun’s out, Lee Valley is a great place to play at – when it’s a bit windier, not so much. Hopefully the sun’s out and people can enjoy themselves.

“I think using the word habit is bang on, it’s certainly something we’ve spoken about, making winning and medalling a habit, we’re wanting to go one further now.”

Paul Revington rallies his troops PIC: WorldSportPics/Frank Uijlenbroek)

“We’ve got the confidence that we can beat teams ranked lower than us, not to say that we’re taking that for granted but we know we can score goals and beat teams, we’ve got that confidence.

“We know that we can compete with anyone ranked higher than us, too, so now it’s just a case of it all coming together for one tournament. It’ll be very difficult.

“The Pro League’s always quite a hard one to judge but this year you can see that teams are firing and the Pro League will be a much better indicator than the last few.

“That’s not taking away from our achievements last year in the Pro League but we’ve got to get up a gear if we want to be where we want to be on that podium.”

Total Hockey


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