On Sunday 25 January the Hockey 5s Finals will be played out in front of thousands of fans at The SSE Arena, Wembley, as England Hockey’s indoor club season comes to a dramatic conclusion.
Last year saw a staggering 52 goals scored across four action-packed games of hockey as East Grinstead men and Reading women were crowned champions. The event is a firm favourite for hockey fans across the country and the army of club supporters who come down to cheer their team on to glory make for an incredible atmosphere inside the walls of Wembley.
Hockey 5s – The Event
Pride is very much the theme among fans of the participating teams, but for the general sports or event fan, indoor hockey offers a huge amount of entertainment with its fast-paced end-to-end qualities.
The day sees the men’s Semi-Finals and the women’s and men’s Finals, meaning there’s a full day of action for spectators.
Hockey 5s is the indoor version of field hockey, with 5-a-side teams going head-to-head in 40-minute matches, which you won’t be able to take your eyes off!
Reading were crowned women’s champions for the second time in as many years after a dominant display saw them romp to a 9-2 victory over Bowdon Hightown in yet another goal-filled final. Becky Halle was named Player of the Match as she netted twice and Emma Thomas produced a fine captain’s display, adding another two to the score sheet, to lead her side to victory.
Emma Thomas, Reading Captain
On playing at Wembley and defending their title:
“The atmosphere at Wembley is incredible, it’s definitely a highlight of the hockey calendar. We’ve been really privileged to have competed in the last four finals and won the last two, which gives us great experience to take into this season. That said, as a squad we talk about ‘winning’ rather than ‘retaining’ a title, because we are very aware that past success counts for little.”
On the battle ahead:
“I think the league will be really tight this year, so like all the other teams we are working hard to put ourselves in the best shape possible to win the title. Once the finals come, it’s all about who gets it right on the day – with such a tight league it’s anyone’s game, which is the beauty of sport.”
Defending champions East Grinstead broke records earlier this year as they lifted the men’s trophy for a sixth consecutive year, beating rivals Canterbury 8-4 in a goal-fuelled final. Last year’s captain Glenn Kirkham praised “a solid defensive display” from his team, with Czech Republic giant, Filip Neusser being awarded Man of the Match for a world class display in between the posts. Add to that some attacking firepower from the likes of Mark Pearn and new team captain Niall Stott and the Surrey outfit never looked like giving up their title.
Niall Stott, East Grinstead Captain
On the importance of Hockey 5s to East Grinstead’s season and playing at The SSE Arena, Wembley:
“The atmosphere at Wembley is electric and it’s brilliant to play in front of so many people who love hockey. We’ll be aiming to take the indoor title for the seventh consecutive time, so I think the importance East Grinstead place on the indoor season speaks for itself. As a club we pride ourselves on being successful across the outdoor and indoor leagues, for both the men’s and women’s teams, and Wembley is the pinnacle of the indoor year in England.”
Tickets and further information
Ticket information: 5,200 tickets on sale, click here for ticketing page.
Hockey 5s, the event: click here for more information about the event.