England Hockey head coach Bobby Crutchley insists the New Year comes with preparation and results far ahead of expectation on the road to the Rio 2016 Olympics.
As England head coach Crutchley led the men’s team to a series of successful finishes in a busy year that saw a World Cup take place in the Netherlands and a Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
England’s men placed fourth at the World Cup, only losing to Argentina in the bronze medal match, but ensured there was no such miss at the Commonwealth Games as they defeated New Zealand to finish third.
The year-ending Champions Trophy in India produced a disappointing seventh-place finish but Crutchley remains happy with the year that has been with 2015 set to be equally as important.
Both the Olympic qualifying tournament and the European Championships in London are on the calendar next year and head coach Crutchley is excited to get going.
“2014 has been a big improvement from the previous year,” Crutchley told the official England Hockey website. “I feel that the whole group have made significant strides.
“If you take into account the fourth place finish at the World Cup and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games I think we are slightly ahead of the curve of success we have been working towards as we continue to build up to the Olympic Qualifiers next year and Rio in 2016.
“Finishing seventh at the Champions Trophy was obviously disappointing, but as a coach I am looking at the quality of play and I’ve been really encouraged by some of the hockey we produced during the tournament.
“Obviously we want to win tournaments and be in the medal matches on a regular basis and working with this squad I believe that’s not too far away, but we need to win the key battles when tournaments reach the knock-out phase and we didn’t manage to do that this time around.”
© Sportsbeat 2014