On Sunday 29th January, 3 EVO sponsored players, Alan Forsyth, Dave Goodfield and Rob Farrington, became England Hockey Indoor Supersixes Champions, winning 12-5 in the final against East Grinstead. We caught up with them to congratulate them on their success and get their insight and advice for young players on how to handle the big occasions.
Congratulations on your Super6s win! How does it feel to be UK indoor champions?
[Forsyth] It feels great to win it, it's a great young team to be part of and I'm really looking forward to the next season already.
[Goodfield] I'm absolutely over the moon, personally I have never played in the indoor super6s before so getting to the final 4 at Wembley was brilliant and then going that step further and winning it was the icing on the cake! Very proud to say we are national indoor champions.
[Farrington] It feels great. It was such a brilliant day and experience to play at Wembley, we all just had a lot of fun.
What were your expectations going into the finals day?
[Farrington] We knew we had a good chance. Pearny (Mark Pearn) gave us a game plan which we all believed in. We knew that if we executed our game plan and stuck to our processes we’d give ourselves a brilliant chance of winning.
[Forsyth] We were always confident going into the finals day. We believed we had a strong squad of 12 players that would do the job.
[Goodfield] We knew that if we turned up and played to our full capabilities we had a good chance to win it, however saying your going to play well and actually doing it are two completely different things, so I was just very happy that as a team everyone performed exceptionally well and embraced the occasion.
You dominated East Grinstead in the final game – how did you approach it as a team and what was the difference between the two sides?
[Goodfield] We actually completely changed the way we defended in both games at Wembley, moving from a zonal press to man to man and it worked perfectly for us, it was much harder work but we reaped the reward from it. On the ball we stuck to what we knew we were good at and developed our play down the right board which added a whole new dimension to our attacking play! We knew we would be in for a tough game against EG and even though the score line didn't necessarily say that they didn't give up until the final whistle went.
[Farrington] We drew in the league phase which gave us confidence we could beat them. All the pressure was on them being reigning champs for so many years, so for us it was a chance to go out there give it a go and put our game out there.
[Forsyth] The aim when it was the league was to make sure we finished top to get the earlier semi final and have a longer rest before the final and I think we took full advantage of that.
Do you have any advice for young players on how to approach important games?
[Forsyth] For me the main thing when you are a young player is to make sure you enjoy training and playing games, especially the important ones. Don't put yourself under too much pressure as that will have an impact on your game.
[Farrington] It’s just another game. You have to stay calm in the head, mind over emotion. Do what you’ve done previously get to that big game but with the highest quality you can.
[Goodfield] I would say to treat it as any other normal game. It's good to understand the pressures of the game but look forward to it and see it as a challenge rather than hiding away. Prepare as you would normally and don't be scared to make mistakes just throw yourself into it and give it everything you've got.
How do you find the indoor game compared to the outdoor game – do you have a preference? Is one useful for the other?
[Farrington] I love both formats. Indoor is fast, lots of goals, loads of touches on the ball and slightly more tactical. With less space and time it helps develop your outdoor.
[Goodfield] I love indoor hockey and I do really think it has a huge benefit for the outdoor game, I wish that we could play it for longer as many of the other European countries do! I think children should try and play as much indoor hockey as possible, it is great to develop your basic skills especially in a pressured and very confined situation.
[Forsyth] I think indoor is really good for your individual tight skills. As it is such a quick game, it helps with being able to make decisions quickly as well. I wouldn't say I have a preference, I enjoy playing both and I think it helps going from one to the other.
Looking forward to the rest of the Premier League season, what are your hopes and ambitions as a team? Will your Super6s success have an effect on your outdoor team?
[Goodfield] As a team our ambitions are to get into the final 4 and make it to the play off finals. As a team I think the super6s will really drive our team forward, getting that taste of success just makes us want it more. If we get into the final 4 then obviously the aim is to win it, and on the day I think any of the top teams could do it so it's all about who performs best under pressure.
[Forsyth] Going into the outdoor we want to build on the momentum from the super6s and make sure we secure a play off spot. It's a new young team with a new coach so we are still working with each other.
[Farrington] If anything the best thing about winning the indoor is that it’s made us hungrier for more. When you win, it just adds more fuel to the fire to keep on winning and trying to stay at the top. Indoor was always a secondary goal for us as a team, we all now have our eyes solely focused on winning the outdoor playoffs and qualifying for EHL this year. On a personal note, I’m just focusing on getting better as a player and enjoying my hockey. I want to be able to do things at a higher speed and become better in both the attacking and defensive circle. Hopefully I can help keep the team ticking over and creating chances, maybe even get amongst the goal scorers more.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring young hockey player to help them develop their skills, what would it be?
[Forsyth] Similar to what I said before! No matter what you do make sure you enjoy it. If you enjoy it you will want to do more hockey more often and the more your on the pitch the more touches you get on the ball to help improve your skills.
[Goodfield] Don't underestimate the importance of your basic skills, you need to be able to trap and pass a ball before you do anything else! Throw yourself into every training session and match and don't be scared to make mistakes or try something new!
[Farrington] Grab a ball, get on a pitch and just go play with your mates. Get comfortable on the ball, get it in the air, try crazy things and just have fun.