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Team GB hockey brush aside Malaysia in AYOF opener

January 16, 2013 12:11 pm

Joe Sharp insists Britain’s men’s hockey team are only just getting started after beginning their Australian Youth Olympic Festival assault with a bang.

The 19-year-old was part of the British team that took Malaysia on the same pitches used for the Sydney 2000 Olympics – and they didn’t disappoint.

Captain Andy Bull, Ross Gilham-Jones and Arjan Drayton-Chana all found the net early on with an own goal giving Britain a 4-0 lead at half-time.

And, although Malaysia put up more of a fight after the interval, a second from Gilham-Jones and further goals from Sam Hatherley and Alan Forsyth saw Britain run out 7-3 winners.

But, with the action coming thick and fast in Sydney, Sharp is adamant they won’t be celebrating the victory for long with Australia lying in wait on Thursday.

“We are very pleased with the result,” he said. “We didn’t know what Malaysia were going to be like so we went into the game unknowing but it was a good win and we scored some good goals.

“It was a fairly good performance all round except for the second half where we were a bit sloppy.

“We raced into an early lead and then we took our foot off a little and allowed them back in which is the only disappointing thing.

“But it was a positive start, not just in our game for the tournament and hopefully we can get on a winning roll now.

“We still have a lot more to give as we were poor compared to how well we played against Australia in our three warm-up games so I think there is plenty more to come from us individually and as a team.

“It was good to get the tournament started as we have been here for a while now just eager to get going so there is more to come which is great.”

Also in action on day one at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre was Joe’s sister Alice as Britain’s women took on the hosts Australia.

They were unable to follow in the men’s footsteps as they went down 3-0 but 20-year-old Alice insists the team can still be proud of their efforts.

“We’ve been here for a week and a half trying to adapt to the heat but when you’re running out there it’s still so hot,” she said. “But we battled to the end and gave it everything.

“We can’t get our heads down after this game, we produced a really good performance so we just need to take that into the next two games and hopefully get positive results in order to meet Australia again in the final and show them what we can do then.”

© Sportsbeat 2013