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Defroand excited by EuroHockey Club Cup challenge

PUBLISHED: 16:21 01 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:21 01 June 2017

Surbiton's women celebrate their final success at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (pic England Hockey)

Surbiton's women celebrate their final success at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre (pic England Hockey)

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Former Coopers pupil chases more glory with Surbiton

Emily Defroand (back row, third from left) made her senior England debut in South Africa (pic England Hockey) Emily Defroand (back row, third from left) made her senior England debut in South Africa (pic England Hockey)

Former Coopers pupil Emily Defroand says she cannot wait to test herself against the best club sides in Europe this weekend.

Defroand and her Surbiton team-mates have travelled to Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands to take on Spanish champions Complutense in their EuroHockey Club Cup quarter-final.

And the London club had gone 53 games unbeaten until suffering defeat in February, before bouncing back to win the league and play-off title last month.

Defroand said: “I am so excited to play in the Europeans this weekend as it is the pinnacle of club hockey.

“We have a tough quarter-final draw versus the number one ranked Spanish team and if we win, we would be likely to play Dutch champions and the hosts Den Bosch. “We have worked really hard as a squad since the domestic season concluded so I hope we do ourselves justice and perform well when it matters.

“Our focuses are solely on the quarter final and we will be taking the tournament game by game.”

Defroand, named in the Investec Women’s League team of the year this season, has only just returned from the continent, having travelled with the England women’s squad for a three-match series against Spain.

Danny Kerry’s side won their first meeting 2-1, but then lost 5-2 in the second and went down 3-2 in the decider.

But 22-year-old Defroand, who was returning from an ankle injury, felt it was a worthwhile trip ahead of the Investec internationals against Argentina and the Netherlands at Stratford’s Olympic Park on June 10-11.

She added: “I feel like our trip to Madrid last week was a great learning curve for the team.

“We played three capped games versus Spain as well as three training sessions, winning the opening game but losing the other two fixtures.

“I thought as a team we dominated quite a lot of possession but our attention to detail in both the defensive and attacking D was the difference in coming away with a series win.

“We will hope to put that right over the coming weeks ahead of a very busy summer schedule which includes two major tournaments.”

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