The cream of the crop in the European Hockey League
Almost half of the Surbiton squad had opted to play in the commonwealth games in Brisbane, Australia instead – can’t really blame them.
Holcombe had competed in the 2016/17 tournament, claiming an impressive 8 - 1 win over the Polish college side KS AZS AWF Poznan, eventually losing 2 - 1 to SV Kampong, a very capable and experienced Dutch side – no disgrace there. In any case, they were thrust into the tournament by Surbiton’s absence, and accredited themselves admirably, considering they too had a weakened team due to commonwealth call-ups. It was a mammoth – not a hairy elephant – task when considering the odds stacked against them.
Notwithstanding the disadvantages of this relatively titchy club, how refreshing it was and courageous of them to commit to the competition with such a commendable strength of character. Primarily, the team had a high mixture of youth and a couple of more experienced players, captained by Richard Lane, a midfielder and the top scorer that season – a job well done.