December 13 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 30, 2013
Romford youngster returns from Lithuania trip
Romford’s JJ Pitchley is hoping his performances for the Great Britain under-20s in Lithuania this week will help him make the final squad for the World Championships later this year.
Former St Edwards pupil Pitchley was part of a 22-strong party which competed at the Alexei Cherapnov Memorial tournament as preparation for their trip to Dumfries in December.
And GB began their campaign with a superb penalty shootout win against the Belarus under-18s, having fought back from 2-0 down.
They lost their next four matches, against Russian club sides Omsk Hawks (6-1) and Kapitan (3-1), Lithuania’s Energy (6-4) and Poland under-20s (4-1), but Pitchley felt the trip had been a great experience.
He said: “The games were all good, but some better than others.
“We played two Russian teams who were both very skilled and fast, but we competed with both of them but got unlucky with the scores.
“I got a goal and assist against the Lithuanian team, but that was a bad game for us as we didn’t take our chances when we got them.
“Looking to the world championships in Dumfries, I am excited about the camps ahead and hope my hard work and leadership pays off and I make the final team.
“There are a lot of talented players who are coming over from the United States and Canada so the team will be the best team we have ever had for my age group.”
Pitchley, who will now link up with Danny Marshall’s London Raiders as they continue their preparations for the new National League Division One season at Lee Valley, revealed there had been a good team spirit among the GB squad.
But he explained they also had to overcome some adversity in eastern Europe, adding: “The best part of the trip was just the laughs and general high intensity from all the guys.
“We have a very young team this year, with two or three 1996-born players, but they can compete with all of us senior players on the team.
“The worst bits were the bus ride to the rink which was a hour there, which meant leaving the hotel three hours before our game.
“Sometimes we were over prepared and also the food! The whole team got food poisoning on our rest day because of the food we ate after our game the night before!
“But all in all it has been a very enjoyable week away and some good hockey has been played. Now I’m back home for a week of practice but I cannot wait for the season to start and get back in the gold and blue again.”
Christine Ohuruogu and Mo Farah have been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.