On Sunday 14th June 2015, we travelled to Gloucester to play at the UK Floorball Federation Youth National Cup, held at the GL1 centre with U-13's and U-16's teams from around the UK competing for the title of national champions in their respective age groups. 2015 was the first time Hastings have ever entered a team, and our youth team's first competitive tournament being the national championships was always going to be a challenge!
We played 7 matches throughout the day, with a slow start losing 0-3 to Hawick Hawks from the Scottish league. The team quickly picked up the pace and managed 3 successive wins! The afternoon included 3 tough games which led to two close-fought losses ending with a 4-0 defeat to Ilmington Arrows, who went on to win the overall tournament.
The final scorelines throughout the day were: Hastings 0-3 Hawick Hawks Hastings 1-0 Fife Floorball Hastings 3-0 Cotswold School Hastings 4-0 Farnham Fireballs Y Hastings 1-2 Farnham Fireballs R Cotswold Cobras 1-0 Hastings Ilmington Arrows 4-0 Hastings
The team ended up finishing 5th overall; a fantastic achievement for the U-16's first proper fixtures! It was disappointing not to come away with a trophy, but the team all played to their very best ability, and both coaches Kaspars and Lauren were particularly proud of the team spirit and enthusiasm from our youth team. Even when what would have been a winning goal was disappointingly disallowed the team showed maturity & positivity.
Sendijs Neimanis captained the team, and deserves a special mention for scoring a brilliant 7 of the 10 goals scored. Goalie Rian McDonald also played a great tournament, keeping a completely clean sheet for 3 games in a row! The team also owes a huge thank you to senior team player Arnis for driving the team for the 10-hour round trip and to Hastings Community Transport for their generous support with the minibus to enable the team to enter.
The team now have clear goals to work on, and the coaches feel that with another year's experience we will be in with a strong chance of coming away with a trophy next time.
Left to right are: Kaspars Maksimovs (coach), Khalil Saouir, Ashley Hills, Brandon Darch, Sendijs Neimanis, Chris Morgan, Jack Chantler, Tyler Elliott, Peter Soltana, Valentins Lukasenoks, Ilja Belajevs, Andrew Bunder, Lauren Edwards (coach), Rian McDonald (goalie).