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Trent College will be hoping to make ‘home’ advantage pay when they contest the Girls Schools U13 In2Hockey Finals at the Nottingham Hockey Centre on Friday (12 May). The girls qualified for the national finals after lifting the Midlands Regional title in March and in doing so they became the fourth female Trent College hockey team to progress to their respective national age-group finals this year.
In2Hockey is the 7-a-side version of the game played on half a pitch. The small-sided teams mean that players get more touches on the ball, increased levels of physical activity, more opportunity for skill development and greater feeling of contribution to the team. It provides a gradual progression into the 11-a-side game, which the girls will compete in from under 14s onwards.
Nottingham Hockey Centre is the home of Beeston HC, where several of the Trent College girls train and play their club hockey, meaning they will be very comfortable in their surroundings and on the pitches. With their U14 and U18 school counterparts having already finished in the top four in the country at their national showdowns this year, the U13s will be looking to match their success.
Mark Wadsley, Trent College Head of Hockey, said: “Having all four girls’ teams reach the national finals is certainly a first for for the school and there can’t be many other schools in the country that have ever enjoyed the qualification success the Trent girls have done across all age-groups this year.
"A couple of the U13s' team have older sisters who have already played in their national finals and I’m sure they will be sharing useful bits of advice on enjoying the occasion and playing under pressure. The whole team can also take a lot of inspiration from what the girls before them have achieved because as well as performing at a consistently high level all season, they have been a credit in the way they have conducted themselves.
“The bar has been set high, but if we are going to keep driving girls' hockey forward at Trent College you want standards to keep being raised and surpassed. It will be nice for the U13 girls to not have to travel far, and to be on familiar ground, when they line up for Friday’s tournament. But once they are on the pitch, it is up to them to show what they are capable of and to enjoy being involved against the best young players of their age in the country.”
The Girls Schools U13 In2Hockey Finals feature the winners and runners-up from the five regional competitions.Teams play in two pools of five. The winners of each pool will then contest the final to decide the national title with runners-up in each pool going head-to-head in a 3rd/4th play off.