Cricket: Hockey: England's German lesson

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

AS HAVANT were drawing alongside Hounslow, their great rivals at the top of the PizzaExpress National League, at the weekend, England were winning their second successive silver medal in the seventh European Indoor Nations Cup in Bonn and their third in all, writes Bill Colwill.

The Germans - 89 indoor internationals without defeat and seven times European gold medallists - were left completely bewildered. They do not understand how, with 12 elite players away on national duty, the outdoor National League programme at home is allowed to continue, nor how England perform consistently well at the indoor game without taking it seriously and with no national indoor league.

Paul Lissek, Germany's Olympic gold medal-winning coach who was again in charge in Bonn, was full of praise for England's performance. He said: 'You have good players but they need to have regular experience. When you play the game seriously rather than play at it you will be a real threat to our record. 'Indoor skills are a big bonus to the outdoor game. Players also realise the importance of the first touch and their powers of concentration are greatly enhanced.'

England's performance was remarkable, a team effort with outstanding performances from David Luckes, Jason Laslett and Julian Halls. But at the end of the day they were unable to match the Germans.