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Leicestershire, UK
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11 February 2009 - PR 09/15

Loughborough Students playing for England in Europe

Loughborough Students are flying the flag for England this weekend at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy in Prague (13-15 February).

The students, who qualified to represent England by winning last year’s National Indoor Championships, will face teams from Italy, Sweden and Ukraine in the pool stages of the Trophy competition where promotion to the Championship is up for grabs for the winners.

A 12-strong squad, including Olympian Jon Bleby and a further seven of last year’s National Championship-winning team, has been named. Ireland international John Jackson and GB U21 player Nick Catlin return to the squad after missing the recent National Indoors through injury and international call-ups.

It is the fourth year Loughborough Students have competed in Europe. In their first outing Loughborough clinched promotion into the Trophy, then went on to finish third then fourth in their next two appearances.

Loughborough head coach David Ralph is excited to be back in Europe but warns the competition will be hard.

“The teams are all very close standard-wise so it’s going to be a tough competition,” he said. “We’ve played the Ukrainian team Kolos-Sekvoya Vinnitsa three times before but we haven’t met the others.

“To play in Europe is something different and it’s really exciting. You don’t get that opportunity very often so we’ve got to make the most of it .

“Most of the team have played a bit of indoor hockey this season, but we’ve not had a match since the national finals on 25 January. The other teams will have played competitively right up to the tournament, so it will be hard. It’s a different game, it’s more exciting.”

Loughborough open the competition on Friday against Swedish side Partille (12pm) and later the same day (4pm) they face Italian side HC Bra. Their final group match is against the Ukrainians on Saturday at 11am, with the knockout matches taking place that evening and on Sunday.

For live results log onto www.eurohockey.org


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sports PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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