Disappointing seventh place for Whiteman’s England team

SEVENTH PLACE: Whiteman and England finished seventh at the FIH Hero Champions Trophy
SEVENTH PLACE: Whiteman and England finished seventh at the FIH Hero Champions Trophy

Tim Whiteman has reflected on a missed opportunity to get a medal at the FIH Hero Champions Trophy with England,but remains confident for 2015.

The Harleston Magpies graduate had helped his country to a flying start, topping Pool A in the showpiece tournament in India for the world’s top eight side, with wins over world champions Australia and dark horses Pakistan, on their return to the international scene.

A 1-1 draw with Belgium ensured they finished the group unbeaten going into a quarter-final clash with Germany.

But Whiteman, who grew up in Denton, near Harleston, and also featured against the Germans, could not prevent a 2-0 defeat at the Kalinga Stadium.

“It was a tight game and although we controlled large parts of the match, their defensive detail was superior to ours and we failed to convert our chances,” Whiteman told the Express after flying back home for Christmas this week. “We also had a bit of bad luck suffering two illnesses on the eve of the game, leaving David Condon and Chris Griffiths sidelined.

“Although this is no excuse for our loss, but we did certainly miss them.”

A defeat to Argentina in a battle for a potential fifth place preceded a win over Belgium to finish one up from the bottom of the pile in seventh.

“My reflection of the tournament in Bhubaneswar mainly revolve around the feeling of frustration at our final placing. but optimism going forward into next year,” he said.

“It was extremely disappointing to finish seventh and not challenge for the medals and it is probably made worse by the fact we played so well at the beginning of the event, going unbeaten in the group stages and 
playing such expansive hockey.”

Despite going ahead through Ashley Jackson’s 12th-minute penalty in their crossover match against Argentina on Saturday, Whiteman and his England teammates suffered a narrow 2-1 reverse in Sunday’s game.

The 27-year-old, based in Beeston, started in England’s final match of the tournament the following day, as they played Belgium for the second time.

England came from a goal behind, with goals from David Condon (two) and Chris Griffiths helping them win 3-2 in the seventh place play-off.

Whiteman was hoping to make up for missing out on the bronze medal success his teammates enjoyed in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the summer, after he had to pull out with a reoccurance of a hand injury picked up during their training camp.

for more success for his country in India, having helped the team win brozone in the Hero Hockey World League Finals earlier this year.