07 Jan 2024
Tour Report

Day 1 - An extremely early start did not hinder the passion displayed by the touring squads. The first drama of the tour hit us on arrival at the airport (not mentioning any names) we continued on without a GK Kit and minus 6 sticks. Following a quick lunch on arrival at the hotel, the 1st XI played a dominant 3/4 of a game against a well-drilled Club Junior 1917 HC side. They took the lead after a break away aerial left Jack Wood with a 1v1 which he converted sensationally on his reverse and made the crowd roar. The second goal was an improvised short corner where Sam Jackson finished with a reverse flick. However, the fatigue set in in the last quarter of the game, resulting in 3 goals conceded and a 4-2 loss. MVP Award went to Olly Gurney and Jack Wood. The squad then travelled to a welcoming CD Terrassa HC for the 2nd XI’s fixture, set beautifully at the base of the mountains. The two squads mixed in playing a very enjoyable fixture, certainly an entertaining game for the 1st XI to support and watch. MVP went to Bert Souter scoring the winner in the last few minutes.

Day 2 - We had an early start before heading to Athletic Terrassa HC for a sunny morning on the hockey pitches. The 2nd XI played in a nail-biting fixture, finishing 2-2 against a tough Spanish side with goals from Barney Villiers and Ed Adnitt. MVP went to Aubrey Cassell for his all-round performance at the back, with a special mention to Blake Maddox for a special half in goal. The 1st XI started the morning with a training session with a Spanish coach from the club which was enjoyable for everyone. After a quick lunch the boys spent some time revising before a busy afternoon. The 1st XI had an afternoon doing either swimming or padel before a 5:30pm push back under the lights. The 2nd XI had a session in the afternoon before watching the match. The 1st XI had a competitive match with a very strong adult side from Athletic Terrassa, unfortunately the blues did not come out on top after a rough 60 minutes. Although not successful the boys learnt a lot from their match and having incorporated a new way of pressing. Special congratulations to Charlie Ferrett on turning 18 and MVP was Ben Pearce.

Day 3 - Once again we started bright and early with a 9 o’clock training sessions under the lights at Terrassa. Our coach Arnau provided us with some useful advice as well as a good laugh. After the session, we ate lunch at Terrassa before travelling to our final fixture of the tour against Iluro HC. The 2nd XI were up first and after a very strong first half performance they went into the half time break 2-1 up, helped greatly by some top saves by goalkeeper Hamish and great hockey from the whole team. Sadly, the side couldn’t get over the line after a late winner from Iluro and ended up losing 3-2 but a very positive performance, nonetheless. MVP went to Hamish Miller-Edge who’s triple save resulted in a counterattack goal. The 1st XI were up next against a mixed men’s side from Iluro. Like all the teams that we played they were well drilled and very technical which proved a tough but exciting challenge for us. We were able to compete for periods of the game but in the end the Iluro team were able to break us down at times. However, we did secure a goal back in the second quarter thanks to a Toby Barlow ball across the goal finished neatly by Jack wood at the back post. This left us with a half time score of 6-1. At this point bodies were tired so to keep the game enjoyable we traded three players with the Iluro team. This led to an exciting second half where we got to play with some extremely good hockey players and see some very good goals. MVP was shared between Toby Barlow and Nico the Spanish U21 who joined us in the second half. After the match Iluro HC provided some excellent food before we travelled back to our accommodation to use the swimming pool and padel courts before dinner at the hotel to finish a successful and competitive day

Day 4 - The hockey club’s tour of Barcelona concluded with a day of culture consumption. The day began with a visit to the Sagrada Familia, a magnificent Catholic Basilica. After an hour or so of free time in the city, the team visited the Nou Camp, walking through the club museum and shop. The highlight of the day was Charlie Ferrett showing why he wasn’t in Milan with the footballers. With that, the hockey club headed to the airport to end an enjoyable pre-season tour in which a great deal was learned, and significant progress was made.

Thank you to the 6th Form pupils who wrote the daily reports.