Men's United Kingdom

Ball Hockey UK (BHUK)

Ball Hockey UK Profile:

Ball Hockey UK Performance Director and Team UK Head Coach Matt Darlow has concluded his "toughest decision making process in 19 years as a coach" and named the Mens and Womens Senior UK Teams to play in the 2013 World Championships in Canada. Playing standards at the two trial events had improved massively since the last World Championships, and that made his task incredibly tough. . Decisions were made hard by what I would say were performances across both teams that were at least 20% better than the standard in Bratislava in 2011.

Although I came in after squad selection last time around, the standard among men and women is noticeably improved and it was very much the case of fitting players into the fast paced way I want us to play this time around as opposed to adapting players to the heavily defensive style we had in Slovaki,

The biggest difference is that we now have not just a line or two that can stretch the opposition but we have genuine firepower across four lines and a huge amount of pace up front with the men.

The women are a far fitter, better drilled and cohesive unit with threats in all areas from front to back and they certainly provide upsets.

As soon as I saw the fitness and speed differences it immediately influenced our stategy and the way we are going to play in Canada and it will make us a very different proposition to the Team UK of 2011. . We have several new additions to the game from the ice hockey world and with this comes a wealth of high level experience that coupled with the ball hockey experience of others and the fearlessness of youth in both teams will give us outstanding team dynamics.

We are stronger from front to back with both teams and with a structured, thorough preparation we can achieve our overall aims of 2 group wins for the women and promotion to Poll A for the men.

The BHUK spokesman Craig Simpson added: "The two trial events were very well attended form all over the UK and we were delighted at the level of interest shown. I certainly did not envy Coach Darlow's task, and it's a credit to the players that it was such a difficult job for him.

The sports has seen a huge jump in teams of the quantity and quality of aprticipant clubs and players, and Team UK is seeing the benefit of that.

The players are completely self funding their participation to the tune of £1500 each. Any companies or organizations interested in supporting Team UK with sponsorship should contact the BHUK via e-mail to here in the first instance.

"Men's Team UK" 

Goaltenders: Graham Arnett, Rich Bennett.

Defence: Ali Cree, Carl Graham, Hayden Johnson, Johnny Tulip, Mitch Davis, Rob Clayton and Carl Wood.

Forwards: Andy Harwood, Ash Atkin, Ben Bliss, Chris Reid, James Dixon, Jay Ashfield, Mick Donohue, Richard Worrell, Stewart Bliss, Tom Cole, Stefan Corlett, Scott Ellard, Chrissy Morrison Jr., Viad Porubsky. 

Matt Darlow Team UK Coach 

Men's Team UK


Information, Articles and Commentary:

1.) Team GB update as St John's looms large on the horizon April 19, 2013 [click to view]


As the Ball Hockey UK domestic calendar draws to a close, the 2013 World Championships in St John's Newfoundland moves into focus.The 2013 edition of the ISBHF bi-annual classic is from 2-9 June with both Men's and Women's senior teams making the trip to represent Team GB.

Great Britain coach and BHUK Performance Director Matt Darlow spoke to ahead of his final training camp with the squads.

    "On the whole Team GB is progressing well and we have our next session aimed at Special Teams and transition speed," he said.
"Strength and conditioning expert Dan Hughes who works with Huddersfield FC is finalising our core strength and power training programs and our running program has finished its long distance aerobic component and will taper over the coming months through speed/endurance 800m and 400m runs to finish with explosive sprint training in the last weeks prior to the Championships. "This will make sure we are at our most powerful during the time we need to be."
    Darlow also said that the squads had suffered from losses in personnel, but added: "The changes have come as shocks but will spur us on to make sure we achieve the team goals for those missing also.
"We have lost the services of influential defenceman and 2011 captain Rob Clayton who will be welcoming a new child into the world around that time. I have asked Rob to stay on as defensive co-ordinator to help the teams prepare for the Championships and he has agreed which is fantastic for both teams. "Katy Parles for the women will also be having a child over the coming months but has kindly offered to help out pushing sponsorship for the teams and keeping us in the public domain as much as possible which is also great to hear. "The team and I would like to wish them, their partners and their new arrivals all the very best for the future and we certainly hope to see them again at this level. "Finally, Chris Reid has sadly been forced to retire due to a hereditary tendon problem in his hands and feet which has become too much and will require careful management as he moves on to other things in life. We once again wish Chris all the best and hope he can get the treatment required to help him recover as much as possible."
    So does coach Darlow plan to recruit to cover the losses?
"I have no plans to recruit further at present while we shuffle our lines and get back to building our units but we always have contingency in place and have moved forward with both teams already. "We will continue to prepare to the optimum level given the constraints of time and busy lives and I am convinced that regardless of what the Championships throw at us we will have the tools to reach deep and find the answers in June."
    Team GB departs the UK for St John's Newfoundland on 31 May, with the World Championships taking place from 2-9 June. The tournament website is Great Britain's men are in the B Pool, while the women's team are one of eight sides in the women's competition.

Ball Hockey UK -

Craig Simpson - BHUK PR & Media