Defroand delighted to bag a bronze for England at EuroHockey Championships
PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 September 2017
Emily Defroand was thrilled to help England’s women win bronze at the EuroHockey Championships in Holland at the weekend.
Former Coopers pupil Defroand and her team-mates beat Germany 2-0 in the third-place play-off in Amsterdam, as hosts the Netherlands struck gold.
And the 24-year-old felt there were plenty of positives to take from the event, saying: “It was a great feeling to win my first major international tournament medal. Obviously it wasn’t the colour we wanted to achieve but it was a tournament we can take a lot from.
“We consistently played some of our best hockey since the start of this cycle, particularly in our semi-final against Holland where we challenged them throughout and dominated play for large periods of the game.
“Winning two medals in two tournaments this summer [after bronze at the Hockey World League semi-final in South Africa] is a great building block for the squad going forwards and highlights exciting times ahead.”
England beat Ireland (4-1) and Scotland (2-0) in their group, but lost to Germany (1-0), before a 1-0 defeat against the Netherlands.
They bounced back to beat the Germans in the third-place match, though, and Defroand added: “The experience was fantastic. I didn’t quite appreciate the scale of what it would be like with it being my first major international tournament and playing in a country like Holland where hockey is so huge, it was simply incredible.
“Playing in a sold-out stadium, holding 10,000 spectators against the hosts in the semi-final was amazing – the atmosphere was electric. Although the result didn’t go our way it will be a night I’ll remember for a long time.”
Havering’s Defroand was also pleased with how she performed and is looking forward to some rest before starting the new club season with Surbiton later this month and then heading back to the national team camp.
“I played in a more central midfield role this tournament and think I played some of my best hockey to date,” she added.
“I strongly believe it was a real team effort and everyone put in big shifts from the first to the last game of the tournament. It really reflected the hard work and detailed preparation we had in place, individually and collectively, at Bisham Abbey prior to the tournament.”