Belper Under-16 taking part in prestigious Dutch tournament

BELPER Ladies Under-16 team are participating in the prestigious HOD Valkenswaard HC Under 16 international tournament near Eindhoven over Easter.

Belper were invited to be England’s representatives in the competition because of their outstanding record in junior club competitions in England where they have been national champions in a variety of age groups, a total of 16 times in the past seven years.

Amongst the teams that have entered this competition are the national squads of the USA and Ireland, three Dutch regional teams, regional sides from Belgium and France plus top club teams from the Netherlands and Germany.

Belper will play two warm-up matches on Thursday and Friday, against HC Eindhoven and Ireland respectively prior to the weekend tournament.

In addition to the tournament, Belper will make a visit to the women’s European Club Championships being held at Den Bosch HC over the Easter weekend. Slough HC and Leicester HC are England’s two representatives in the competition but Belper will want to watch the Den Bosch team who have been European champions 11 times.

The Den Bosch squad contains six of the present Dutch national side who are both World and Olympic champions.

Belper head coach, Tim Barlow said. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our young players to be exposed to international competition at an early age.

“Playing against and watching these top performers will greatly enhance their own skills and understanding plus helping them to move up the development ladder in England in their aspirations to be the best that they can be.”