Euro League could cap brilliant year for Surbiton hockey team

Surbiton men’s hockey team are hoping to defeat Canterbury and claim a European spot.

Ryan Rocastle

Surbiton could be playing European Hockey next season, if they manage to win their playoff semi-final match against Canterbury on Saturday April 13.

The men’s team have reached the finals weekend after finishing second in the English Hockey League and will compete to be crowned champions of England and win a place in Europe.

Massive for the club

The women’s team also have a chance to make Europe after they  reached the playoffs taking place a week after the men’s event.

Captain Ben Tiball is relishing Saturday’s match and what it could mean for the club: “It would be massive, not just to get into the final but to get into Europe next year which is a massive thing now for us and the club.”

It would cap an excellent outdoor season for the men two of whose players, James Tindall and Rob Moore, competed at last summer’s Olympics.

Surbiton have also made it to the cup finals where they will play Hampstead & Westminster on May 4 at College Grove Sports club in Wakefield.  

Putting things right 

The disappointment of previous seasons has driven the players to do so well this campaign.

Fergus Dunn said that Surbiton had been a ‘nearly’ team for so many years and that things had to change this season.

Dunn said: “Everyone was really disappointed and really fed up (with their previous failures) and we ended up getting a new coach for this season who’s definitely changed a lot of things. I think we’ve really stepped up the game in terms of the way we play.”

Coach Todd Williams said that he did not just want to be in Europe next year but also to be crowned champions, as this is was target they set themselves at the start of the season.

“We said on day one that our aim was to achieve both so while they’re still on the table, we’ll be greedy and want them all.” 

Bright future ahead  

It has been a fantastic year for Surbiton Hockey club, mainly thanks to the success Team GB had at the Olympics.  

Surbiton have added two more teams and with help from the English Hockey Board managed to have a weekend where they put up a stand and charged entrance fees, which attracted over 1,000 people.

Dunn said: “They are looking to put up a permanent stand, which would be great. We are getting more people wanting to watch and realising that there are Olympic stars playing on their doorstep.”

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