Double triumph for DUHC keeper at Sultan of Johor Cup

By

Great Britain U21 men were crowned the 2019 Sultan of Johor Cup winners, claiming a 2-1 victory over India in the final.

Durham University’s own goalkeeper, Ollie Payne, played a significant role in the squad’s success, deservedly claiming the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award after an impressive overall performance.

Hosted in Malaysia, this was Payne’s third participation in the tournament, having claimed a spot in the final for the past three years and achieving gold for the first time in 2018.

Discussing the competition, Payne told Palatinate the opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd against less familiar, non-European teams was a “wonderful experience”.

European teams often choose to limit travel and perform against closer squads. Travelling the distance to perform in a competition with teams from New Zealand, Malaysia, India and Australia therefore provides players with a chance to experience unknown opposition and a taste of what future performance with the senior squads on the world stage may offer.

Payne was pleased to have been chosen as overall keeper of the tournament, but considered the squad’s overall performance and his “contribution to success” to be the most vital takeaway from the experience.

Having appeared in the final for the past two years, Payne and other players consider the competition to be an opportunity to “learn to manage” and handle the pressures of elite performance on the world stage.

For Durham University Hockey Club, possessing two of the current Great Britain U21 goalkeepers in Ollie Payne and Louisa Bray cements the club’s status as one of the top performance centres for hockey development at university level.

DUHC combines high-level academics with high-level performance, constructing a competitive environment attractive to those “reassuringly talented” athletes – as boasted by the match-day ‘stella’ sweaters, unique to DUHC.

Looking to the future, Payne intends to continue with training alongside the U21 Great Britain squad in preparation for summer tournaments, before turning his attention to the U23s squad and the possibility of playing for the senior squad.

Payne is one of a number of international athletes at the club. Tess Howard was recently selected for Great Britain’s senior women’s Olympic qualifier against Chile, which will be played this coming weekend. It is clear DUHC are going from strength to strength.

Great Britain U21’s path to third gold in Malaysia

Preliminary Round

Great Britain 2-0 New Zealand (Russell and Oates)

Japan 1-2 Great Britain (Wall and Park)

Great Britain 1-0 Australia (Golden)

Malaysia 1-0 Great Britain

Great Britain 3-3 India (Wall, McConnell and Ramshaw)

Final

India 1-2 Great Britain (Rushmere x2)

Image by Great Britain Hockey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.