FIH Pro League: Danas and Honamas meet England
The FIH Pro League games of the Danas and Honamas against England in the SparkassenPark in Mönchengladbach (May 4th and 5th) fall in the middle of the final phase of the Hockey Bundesliga. Nevertheless, both national teams compete against the English selection with their A-squad.
“Compared to other nations, we don’t have that much time together, so of course, it’s extremely important and positive that we can now train together,” said Honamas national coach André Henning on Monday. “It’s going to be hot weeks for everyone involved,” said the 38-year-old, alluding to the strain on the players from the FIH Pro League and the Bundesliga.
The women’s national coach, Valentin Altenburg, sees it similarly: “I’m happy that we can use the time as a team, we don’t have that much time left until the World Cup.” (July 1 – 17, ed.) According to Altenburg, the games against England should also be used to develop team processes.
“We want to drive our development forward.”
The English women have only played four games in the current FIH Pro League season and only won one of them, but defender Maike Schaunig doesn’t want to take the opponent lightly: “England is a very unpleasant and strong running opponent. We go into the games with confidence, but we won’t underestimate them in any way.” We want to pick up where we left off after the USA games and push our development forward.”
After eight games in the FIH Pro League, the Danas are fourth in the table with three wins, four losses and one draw. It’s clear that there’s still room for improvement, as midfielder Elisa Gräve believes: “The composition and structure definitely need improvement. But that comes with routine and we will certainly make a huge step in the games against England.”
“It doesn’t matter who we play against.”
For the Honamas, the FIH Pro League games do not serve as preparation for the World Cup, but of course you still want to win both games against the English, says striker Niklas Wellen on Monday: “The English are a very athletic team, they have some top players . In the phase we’re in right now, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing against because we have a lot of issues where we only look at ourselves. The games are very important for us to take the next steps. We want to use every game.”
Since the national team only meets every few weeks, according to goalkeeper Alexander Stadler, work is done in small groups that train in different areas, such as tactics or performance. “Within the small groups, but also as an entire team, we then want to develop further during the courses in order to make further progress as a team.”