FIH Pro League London

Hockey

FIH Pro League in London ~ Saturday 18 June & Sunday 19 June: England v Belgium (Women & Men) double-headers

🏑 England’s hockey teams bring a summer of FIH Pro League action on home soil to a close with an eagerly anticipated double-header against Belgium.  

NEWSFLASH: England have completed their 2022 international fixtures at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and will return to FIH Pro League action on home soil in May 2023 (stay tuned here for fixtures as soon as announced).  Next up for England’s women is a trip to the Women’s FIH Hockey World Cup in July (hosted by Spain & Netherlands) before England’s men’s and women’s sides take part in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.  

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2022 MATCH PREVIEWS

International hockey has been back at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the return of FIH Pro League matches to London.  England’s men and women are competing in their third season of the FIH Hockey Pro League (for an introduction see below) with a series of home matches at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, which started with the visit of France and China on the weekend of 21/22 May.

Matches were scheduled across four weekends in May and June with games on Saturday and Sunday.  Each day featuring a double-header with two matches included in one ticket, one men’s and one women’s (see below for the full schedule of games).

The story so far

England women narrowly missed out on opening their campaign with victory against China on the opening weekend.  A goal in the dying seconds forced the match to a shoot-out which the visitors won 4-3.  The following day Grace Balsdon’s goal in the opening quarter was cancelled out by China who ran out 3-1 winners to take all three points.  The following weekend Balsdon was again on the scoresheet for England as they registered a 3-1 victory in the first match of a double-header against Spain.  The Spanish bounced back the following day to win the return 2-0.  England then played superbly to beat second-placed Netherlands 3-1 earlier this month at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, before losing the reverse match 2-1 the following day.

This weekend’s visitors Belgium are fifth in the table on 19 points, with England’s women in seventh place on 15 points.  Meaning England can draw level with their opponents if they can win both matches this weekend.

England’s men enjoyed a successful opening weekend claiming all six points from their encounters with France.  A last-minute goal from Sam Ward in a nine-goal thriller on Saturday saw England clinch a 5-4 victory.  Goals from Nick Bandurak, David Condon and the aforementioned Ward secured an emphatic 4-1 win on Sunday.  The following weekend England’s men made it four wins on the spin with 4-2 and 3-0 victories over South Africa.  Chris Griffiths netted in both matches for England sealing the victory with the third goal in Sunday’s match.  However back-to-back defeats against the Netherlands (who are top of the table) at the beginning of June stalled the momentum of England’s men.

And so to this weekend and the visit of Belgium, the men’s Olympic champions who are currently second in the FIH Pro League table, level on 31 points with leaders Netherlands.  Can England’s men – currently sixth in the standings – get back to winning ways against these European heavyweights?

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May/June build-up

While the planned visits of Australia and New Zealand are no longer taking place – both nations having withdrawn form the league in 2022 due to travel restrictions – in their place, India and Spain have joined the women’s league and France and South Africa have joined the men’s version.

Opposition teams coming to London include some major players on the international hockey scene such as China, South Africa, France and Spain.  They are joined by two of Europe’s powerhouses – the Netherlands and Belgium – who take on England in the capital on 4-5 June and 18-19 June respectively. 

Matches are at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, with the exception of the double-header against the Netherlands on 4/5 June which will take place at Twickenham Stoop, home of Harlequins rugby.  

England’s women are at No. 4 in the FIH Women’s world rankings and their team is likely to feature a number of Team GB Olympians from Tokyo including some of the women’s bronze medal-winning squad, as well as some new faces to the senior international scene.  England’s men are currently No. 7 in the FIH Men’s world rankings.   

FIH Pro League London

🎟️ Tickets are currently off sale-sale.

🕑 FIH Pro League London match schedule as follows:-

All matches are at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

🏑 Saturday 21 May – England v France (Men) and England v China (Women).  Gates open 12.30pm, first match 2pm.

🏑 Sunday 22 May – England v France (Men) and England v China (Women).  Gates open 11.30am, first match 1pm.

🏑 Saturday 28 May – England v South Africa (Men) and England v Spain (Women).  Gates open 12.30pm, first match 2pm.

🏑 Sunday 29 May – England v South Africa (Men) and England v Spain (Women).  Gates open 11.30am, first match 1pm.

🏑 Saturday 4 June – England v Netherlands (Women & Men).  Gates open 12.30pm, first match 2pm.  

🏑 Sunday 5 June – England v Netherlands (Women & Men).  Gates open 11.30am, first match 1pm.  

🏑 Saturday 18 June – England v Belgium (Women & Men).  Gates open 12.30pm, first match 2pm.

🏑 Sunday 19 June – England v Belgium (Women & Men).  Gates open 11.30am, first match 1pm.

🎟️ Tickets are on general sale via the ‘Get Tickets link.  

🚊🚗 Travel tips: Public transport is recommended for visiting the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.  There is no parking onsite for spectators.  The venue is accessible by train, tube, bus, bike and taxi.  See this guide to visiting the centre for full details.

🏑 About the FIH Pro League: The FIH Pro League is global hockey competition run by the international governing body of hockey that started in 2019.  Two leagues, one men’s and one women’s, each comprising some of the world’s best hockey nations, battle it out for glory. 

During the 2021-2022 season matches take place round the world from October 2021 through to June 2022 featuring action-packed, international rivalries at their fiercest and hockey of the highest calibre.

The Men’s teams are:- England, Belgium, Netherlands, France, South Africa, Spain, India, Argentina and Germany. 

The Women’s teams are:- England, Netherlands, Belgium, China, Spain, United States, India, Argentina and Germany

Teams earn the traditional three points for winning a match in normal time.  However, if a match is drawn at full time, each team earns one point, and there’s then a shootout with a point to the winning side.

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