Malmo and Madrid review
The GB women squad travelled to Malmo, Sweden at the end of May. This competition was a fantastic opportunity to compete and watch teams that they will be facing in the European A Championships in September with all 10 nations competing along with USA and Japan. GB had Ukraine, Turkey, Sweden, Germany and Russia in their group and performed well in the group stage by finishing on top. This meant a semi final against a very strong Japan side and although being ahead at half time Japan managed to pip GB to book a place in the final. Next up was the bronze medal match against Israel and previous games had taken their toll and the team didn’t have much left in the tank and ultimately loss to a strong Israeli team who recently competed at Rio 2016.
The full results:
GB V Ukraine = 4 – 2
GB V Russia = 4 – 3
GB V Germany = 6 – 5
GB V Turkey = 9 – 1
GB V Sweden = 2 – 7
GB V Japan= 1 – 3
GB V Israel = 0 – 5
Madrid competition provided more preparation for the European A Championships in September playing against a mixture of A and B league teams. GB’s group for this competition consisted of Spain Youth, Sweden and Vintage Ladies (a team combining of USA, Finland and Brazil players). This competition very much provided mix emotions with strong performances against Spain Youth and Vintage Ladies but were underpinned by a disappointing performance against Sweden which meant GB finished 3rd in the group by 1 goal. GB then played against Belgium for a 5th / 6th play off and finished the competition very strongly to finish 5th overall.
GB V Spain Youth = 12 – 2
GB V Sweden = 3 – 8
GB V Vintage Ladies = 7 – 6
GB V Belgium = 7 – 3
Next up for GB Women is a trip to Israel on Sunday 23rd July until Thursday 27th July where they will play a competition against teams from Russia, Israel and Finland.
Great Britain Men head off to Malmo and Madrid.
Both of these tournaments proved to be invaluable opportunities to play against opposition that challenged us in the European B Championships last year but also to compete against teams we are due to face at the European A Championships in September 2017 in Finland. Every opportunity we have to step on court is critical for our Euros preparation and one we all feel incredibly privileged to be part of.
Malmo proved to be a formidable challenge but an incredibly exciting one. Its one of the first times our GB Men have had an opportunity to play against 4 European A Teams in the group stages (Finland, Belgium, Ukraine & Lithuania). Throughout this tournament we learnt huge amounts and pulled out a great performance narrowly losing to Finland, who won the Paralympic Games at London 2012. This shows how far the team has progressed and more importantly keeps us travelling to our dream of being one of the best teams in the world. Competing in the tournament we had Australia, Belgium, Finland, Great Britain, Japan Lithuania, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and USA.
Our next flight landed us in Madrid (Spain), in incredible heat (one us Brits are not used to) we came up against an array of European B and C teams. Teams competing included France, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Spain Youth. Our first game against Poland showed just how far GB has come and after holding our nerve we finished the game 11-10. New team on the block France who started with a tough game came together and tried everything they could against GB, unfortunately they didn’t anticipate coming up against Caleb Naneive and his formidable penalty taking! This game ended in a mercy to GB 14 – 4. Final game of the group stages seen us come up against the host’s Spain, we always have a fiercely fought game against this nation and this was no different. Both teams were already through to the Semi’s so this game was to decide the winners of the group, GB showed amazing spirit, discipline and tactics to win the game 8-4.
Unfortunately this is where GB’s winning streak came to an end loosing to Hungary in the semi finals and after a great come back in the second half of the bronze medal game we lost to Israel 6 – 12. Below is the final placing for Spain 2017. With some very good highs and some disappointing lows, GB is ready for their next challenge of the Flemish Cup in August.