4th July 2016, Brussels: The EHF could not be more excited to be launching the EuroHockey5s Future Heroes Cup, the first EuroHockey5s official ranking events this week in Prague, Walcz and Vilnius, for boys and girls under 16 years of age.
A little over a year ago the first ever EuroHockey5s event took place in Malta, rules were tested, umpires and players learning together the secret ingredient that would launch EuroHockey5s on the international stage. This week we will see 34 boys and girls teams in action!
The games are played on a 1/2 size full field hockey pitch, with high boards so unless the ball goes over the boards, the ball is always in play. Players can score from anywhere and there must be a fully kitted keeper on the field all the time. Games will be played in 3 x 10 minute blocks with 2 minute breaks.
To get a flavour of the feeling of the coaches ahead of these exciting events we caught up with some of the host coaches:
Petr Bodnar, Czech coach U16 Girls, on being asked for the benefit to Czech Hockey “For us is H5 good to play in trainings, players will encounter more of the ball, forcing them into action more often and it shows their technical skills.” His colleague, Tomas Babicky coach U16 Boys said “For smaller states, is H5 good. They do not need so many players or a large playground. For us as coaches, it’s a little worse, because we have around 30 to 50 children in the preparation for the event, and then I have to pick only 10 players.” He added that this experience of not being selected will be a useful life learning in adulthood.
The Polish Under 16 girl’s coach Dorota Wybieralska said when asked are Hockey5s a good development for smaller nations ‘I think that it is easier to make a team of 5 players for nations, where hockey is not very popular. It is easier to collect 5 players than 11 players.” She added that good goal keeping is key “There are much more strikes at the goal and goalkeepers are exploited often. Our two goalkeepers are Nicola Chruszcz and Kinga Janowska will be important to the team” She’s looking forward to playing in front of the home supporters in Walcz.
And finally we spoke to the Polish U16 Boys – Mateusz Grochal. We asked him if he liked the Hockey5s format ” I think that hockey5 as new format, should be given a chance. Always with change there are question marks but also a lot of excitement.” He shied away from naming key players saying that his team is a well composed mechanism! ‘All I can say is that we are confident, concentrated and really excited for the tournament!” On playing at home “Walcz is a modern sports centre and I am sure everyone will have a great time there. We are really looking forward to hosting and participating in EuroHockey Tournament there. Hopefully it will help to promote and develop hockey in Walcz.”
We will be LIVE STREAMING on the Final 2 days in Prague, more details to follow soon. But all game results will be tweeted as well as posted below.
Of course we will be active on our social media channels so be sure to follow us:
Twitter: @eurohockeyorg #EuroHockey5s
Main photograph: 2015 friendly EuroHockey5s in Malta