Hockey: Lee tells dejected players to win for future prospects


Click to follow
The Independent Online

British men's hockey squad can deliver a boost to their drive to reach the same funding levels as the nation's women if they pull off a shock win over the world game's top nation, Australia, in today's bronze medal game.

The women bronze medallists have benefited from a seven-figure sponsorship deal with Investec at a time when GB Hockey is marketing participation in the game heavily to women.

It is now the men in need of a sponsor in a sport which is striving to become self-financing at grassroots level.

Coach Jason Lee has expressed concern that the 9-3 defeat by the Netherlands on Thursday will be hard to recover from and said continued funding is needed for the long-term future of the men's game.

"Team sports take a long time to grow," Lee said. "Football is starting to realise that. Whatever we put in place will probably only have a result in 10 to 12 years. Our players are already in the system and getting to the age where it doesn't matter if you chuck £20m at them, it not going to change.

"We've been working on the players' strength so it doesn't matter what the pressure is.

"But if we get [extra funding] we can work on the next age group."