Wales men's national field hockey team

The Wales men's national field hockey team represents Wales in men's international field hockey competitions.[2]

AssociationHockey Wales
ConfederationEuropean Hockey Federation
CoachDanny Newcombe
Assistant coach(es)David Hacker
Martin Schouten
ManagerWill Packer
CaptainLuke Hawker
Lewis Prosser
Rupert Shipperley
FIH ranking
Current 17 1 (30 June 2021)[1]
Highest17 (June 2021–present)
Lowest36 (March 2015 – August 2016)
Olympic Games
Appearances1 (first in 1908)
Best result3rd (1908)
EuroHockey Championship
Appearances10 (first in 1970)
Best result6th (1978, 1999, 2019)

History from 1970s onward

During the 1970s Wales built a strong side, starting with their outstanding goalkeeper Austin Savage who went with GB to the Munich Olympics in 1972. By the late 1970s there were several GB contenders, and as a result Wales came an impressive 6th in the European Nations Finals in 1978 in Hanover, West Germany. The squad was coached in the 1970s by Roger Self, who went to become the most successful GB Manager in the 1980s, winning Olympic Bronze and Gold in 1984 and 1988 respectively. The team featured Savage in goal, but in the buildup to Moscow 1980 (which GB withdrew from in the end) Wales had a number of GB players including Bryn Williams, Howie Williams, Cemlyn Foulkes, Andy Western and Peter Marsh, alongside experienced internationals Robin Martin, Ian Cowx, Andy Gowman, David Thomas and Martin Brough.

After the disappointment of missing out on Moscow, Wales regrouped under manager Gwyn Benson and were invited to a 4 nation tournament at Dulwich where they played Canada and Australia. This was preparation for the Inter-Continental Cup in Kuala Lumpur in 1981, a World Cup qualifier for the top four nations. With GB player Bob Cattrall also now in the squad, Wales took a mix of youth (newcomers Chris Ashcroft, David Peters, Nazir Mohammed, Mike Bishop and others) and experience and beat Zimbabwe, Japan and Italy as well as drawing 1–1 with USSR who were about to emerge as tournament winners and go on to be a major force in World Hockey. Losing to hosts Malaysia in the deciding pool game in front of 20,000 in Merdeka Stadium was a disappointment, Wales finishing 6th in the end after a win over France and a loss to Belgium.

In 1982, Jeff Cocks came in as manager and P J Wilson began to coach the squad as Astroturf hockey came to the fore. Wales went to Colorado Springs for the Rocky Mountain tournament at the US Olympic Training Centre, where they played USA, Canada and Chile before later playing at QPR in the televised 4 nation event with Spain, England and France. Matches with USA, Gibraltar and the Netherlands (two televised games in Swansea) saw further newcomers in David Cutter, Malcolm Evans, Mark Lewis and Steve Cronin gain experience ahead of the 1983 European Championships in Amsterdam. After finishing 2nd in the 1983 Home Internationals, Wales disappointed in Amsterdam despite reasonable pool results against England, France and Austria. 1–0 defeats to Poland and Austria in the play-offs consigned the squad to 12th. Bob Cattrall was absent from this squad due to playing commitments in Australia, whilst Howie Williams also missed Amsterdam. Cattrall did gain GB Olympic selection for Los Angeles where he won the bronze medal, but GB training was otherwise restricted to keeper Ashcroft, defender Cutter and winger Lewis.

After minimal activity in 1984, Wales saw further new arrivals for the Inter-Continental Qualifier in Brussels in 1985, including manager John Tucker. David Hacker, Jon Rees and Mike Williamson would go on to gain over 100 caps, and the new look squad beat Switzerland before losing the decider 2–0 to Belgium, the end of that year's World Cup trail in effect. A year later in 1986 Wales qualified for the European Finals again after beating Switzerland and Finland in Edinburgh before losing to Scotland (both nations having qualified). Under the new management team of former players Cowx and Martin, a series of matches in Zagreb (back on grass!) provided more experience before 1987 saw two matches with GB in Cardiff, the second of which saw a famous 3–2 win over the embryonic Olympic Gold squad. A disappointing 3rd in the 1987 Home Internationals was not good preparation for the European Finals in Moscow, though the fitness weekend at Royal Marines HQ in Lympstone will long remain in the memory of the squad which now also contained Simon Rees, David Knapp, Paul Moulton and Guy Dale-Smith. A narrow defeat to West Germany (2–3) was promising in a warm up tour, but the squad found it tough in cold war USSR. Never outclassed and playing some big name nations like USSR and Germany, Wales lost a series of close games and again slipped to 12th. This left a number of stalwarts out of GB reckoning for 1988, when GB went on to win Gold in Seoul with no Welsh representation.

Mike Williamson then took over as interim player coach and a series of creditable results against respected nations like India and Malaysia were achieved in the next couple of years, helped by several squad members gaining valuable experience in England's new National Hockey League, many with top clubs. Manager Martin Gilbody and coach Malcolm Wood then came on board (later to be a highly successful partnership with Cannock HC), and the next competitive challenge came in 1990's European Nations Qualifier in Vienna, The squad now featured established players like Cutter, Hacker, Williamson, Rees, Ashcroft, Moulton and Knapp alongside emerging talents such as Richard Jones, Jon Doherty, Owen Mackney, David Bleach, the Colclough brothers, Paul Edwards, Tyrone Moore, Ian Hughes-Rowlands and Clive O'Sullivan. A resounding 10–0 win over Portugal was followed by a 3–1 win over hosts Austria for Wales to qualify for the Paris Finals the following year. Two wins over South Korea in Cardiff rounded off 1990 nicely.

After playing in a prestigious 4 nation event in France against the host nation, Pakistan and Australia, the squad was gaining experience against the world's top players and holding their own really well. Australia were pushed hard before two late goals saw a 4–1 loss in Paris, followed by home matches against Italy and Canada before returning to France. At the European Finals, a tight loss to England in the first game (1–3 but also a Welsh penalty miss) was followed by other disappointments against Spain, Germany, Ireland and Belgium. This time, though, the squad worked hard to beat Switzerland and were a minute away from beating Belgium for 9th before succumbing in extra time and having to settle for 10th. The experience continued to build by playing Pakistan and Malaysia in Cardiff, but 1992 began well with a 2–1 win over Argentina and a 1–1 draw with New Zealand at Bisham Abbey. Once again though, GB overlooked Welsh involvement for the Barcelona Olympics squad, though Hacker did feature in the buildup and 2 or 3 other members of the Welsh squad must have been close. 1992 for Wales meant the World Cup trail out in Olten, Switzerland, where a place in the final was needed to progress. Wales dominated to reach the semi-final as group winners but lost controversially to Scotland on penalties in the semi final in sleeting conditions after a 1–1 draw. Gaining the reserve place by beating hosts Switzerland the next day showed the depth of character now contained within the squad.

The next matches were 18 months after Olten, straight into the European Nations Qualifier in Gibraltar, where the squad now contained new faces in Kevin Priday, Zak Jones, Walid Abdo, Mickey Hannon, Owen Griffiths-Jones, Chris John and Ali Carruthers alongside the experienced players, many of whom had 70 or 80 caps now. Wins over Denmark, Gibraltar, Portugal and finally Italy saw Wales qualify with Scotland, their only loss of the tournament. Two matches with USA in Cardiff – a win and a draw – saw off 1994.

A 4 nation event in France against the host nation, Canada and Belarus saw two wins and a creditable 2nd place, before heading to Dublin. The squad now added Richard Markham and Andy Grimes, with virtually all playing high level National League Hockey now. Some fine performances saw a 2–0 win over Scotland (almost certainly clinching the 1998 Commonwealth Games invite) and a draw with France, plus tight defeats to the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. This led to a 5 – 8 place play off, narrowly lost to Poland but followed by a famous 2–1 win over Spain to gain a very respectable 7th.

1996 saw the World Cup Preliminary in Cagliari, Sardinia, where the top 5 would progress. New faces included coach David Bunyan (formerly assistant) and players Mark Kirkland, Mark Smith, Andy Goodenough and Simon Organ, all further strengthening an already impressive squad which still contained veterans Ashcroft, Hacker, Williamson, Colclough, Griffiths-Jones, Edwards, O'Sullivan and Hughes-Rowlands. Group wins over Egypt and Kazakhstan, a draw with New Zealand, and narrow defeats to Switzerland, Canada and China left Wales in the 5 – 8 play off. A late loss to hosts Italy after leading 1–0 shattered World Cup hopes before a win over Kenya secured 7th. Importantly, finishing ahead of Scotland again cemented participation in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

1998 was busy, with the European Qualifier in Prague and the Commonwealths in Kuala Lumpur. With 7 internationals in the buildup (England, Scotland, Ireland, France) the squad was well prepared for Prague, with two new faces in Jamie Westerman and Graeme Egan. The opening game was a 21–0 win over Bulgaria, so close to the International World record score, with Organ getting 8 goals and Hughes-Rowlands and newcomer Westerman both getting hat-tricks in Wales' best ever win. Wins over Gibraltar and the Czech Republic followed and Wales had the qualifying spot for Padova in 1999.

The 1998 Commonwealth Games were a spectacular event in Malaysia's Capital Kuala Lumpur. In the magnificent Bukit Jalil stadium, Wales played some of the world's best sides in incredible heat and humidity. With emergency coach Williamson working alongside Manager Gilbody, the squad also brought in Gareth Terrett after an injury to O'Sullivan in a practice match against Kenya. An opening win against Trinidad was followed by defeats to New Zealand, India, South Africa and Australia, but Wales were well in all the games until the closing stages when fatigue took hold. Great experience for the squad.

1999 saw the focus on the European Finals again in Italy, with a squad finally seeing some retirements after KL. Still there were Ashcroft, Edwards, Hacker, Williamson, Colclough, Jones, Grimes, Organ and Carruthers but new faces included James Davies-Yandle, Micky Hannon (after a long gap), Rhys Joyce, Simon Owen and George Harris. After escaping with a 2–2 draw against Switzerland (from 0–2 down) and then a 1–0 loss to Belgium, the key was a brilliant 6–1 win against the host nation Italy in front of their fans. Losses to Germany and Spain were expected, but Wales again made it into the 5 – 8 playoffs. A 4–3 golden goal win over Russia got them to the 5/6 playoff against Spain, where they played heroically before losing 3–0 to the Spanish. 6th in Europe for Wales. One reward came with Dave Hacker finally gaining GB selection for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, with others surely raising eyebrows and creating selection headaches.

The next two years saw some senior retirements and the squad re-shape under coach Williamson and captain Zak Jones. The new Celtic Cup became an annual event, and Wales built towards the World Cup Qualifier in Edinburgh in 2001. New faces included keeper Matt Simkin, James Ogden, Josh Smith, Huw Jones, Matt Grace and Richard John, and Wales won half of their 8 games to finish 10th out of 16. Losses to New Zealand (1–0) and India (2–1) were balanced by a 3–2 win over Egypt. In the second pool, Wales won it with wins over Bangladesh and Scotland, with a draw against Russia. They beat Chile and lost to France in the 9 – 12 place games. Once again, a one place advantage over Scotland and the 1–0 win in the game between the nations, secured a place in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

2002 was a year for Manchester, but also the European Qualifier in Dublin, now under the management of former legend Bryn Williams. New faces included Mark and Howard Hoskin, whilst matches with Canada (win, loss) and Scotland (win, draw) formed the buildup. In Dublin at the Euro Qualifier for Barcelona 2003, Wales beat Greece (10–0) and Gibraltar (4–0) convincingly but unexpectedly lost to Austria 1–0 which set up a semi final against hosts Ireland to qualify. A 1–0 loss dented Welsh hopes and, though they beat Austria 4–2 to get 3rd, they went out at the play off in Barcelona later that Summer to France.

Manchester 2002 was a great experience for the squad, as was 1998, and the coaching staff of Williamson and Hacker were officially in office this time, as opposed to providing cover in 1998. An opening draw with Canada was followed by a 3–0 loss to Pakistan, setting up what was in effect a knockout game with England for a quarter final place against South Africa. After delays due to torrential storms, Wales froze on the day and lost 5–0 to end their hopes. A 7–0 win over Barbados secured 7th place but the opportunity was there to finish higher that time.

Tournament history

Summer Olympics

Welsh Hockey Team vs Scotland, 1911.

Commonwealth Games

EuroHockey Championship

Hockey World League

EuroHockey Championship II

EuroHockey Championship II

Current squad

The following 18 players were named for the 2021 Men's EuroHockey Nations Championship.[3]

Caps updated as of 23 May 2021, after the match against Scotland.

Head coach: Daniel Newcombe

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) CapsClub
1 GK James Fortnam (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 31) 40 Cardiff & Met
3 DF Daniel Kyriakides (1995-03-21) 21 March 1995 (age 26) 83 Crefelder HTC
4 Ioan Wall (1999-04-28) 28 April 1999 (age 22) 28 Cardiff & Met
6 DF Jacob Draper (1998-07-24) 24 July 1998 (age 22) 45 Hampstead & Westminster
7 Joe Naughalty (1987-04-13) 13 April 1987 (age 34) 96 East Grinstead
8 Lewis Prosser (Captain) (1989-06-13) 13 June 1989 (age 32) 151 East Grinstead
9 FW Rupert Shipperley (Captain) (1992-11-21) 21 November 1992 (age 28) 70 Hampstead & Westminster
10 Rhodri Furlong (1995-10-18) 18 October 1995 (age 25) 55 Hampstead & Westminster
11 James Carson (1994-04-29) 29 April 1994 (age 27) 71 Old Georgians
12 Stephen Kelly (1992-05-12) 12 May 1992 (age 29) 57 Hampstead & Westminster
13 Dale Hutchinson (1993-10-23) 23 October 1993 (age 27) 80 Cardiff & Met
15 Rhys Bradshaw (2000-09-19) 19 September 2000 (age 20) 19 University of Exeter
18 Gareth Furlong (1992-05-10) 10 May 1992 (age 29) 114 Tilburg
19 Owain Dolan-Gray (1990-12-17) 17 December 1990 (age 30) 116 Cardiff & Met
20 Jolyon Morgan (1999-03-09) 9 March 1999 (age 22) 13 NMHC Nijmegen
24 Hywel Jones (1997-07-09) 9 July 1997 (age 23) 34 Hampstead & Westminster
25 Benjamin Francis (1996-03-20) 20 March 1996 (age 25) 75 Wimbledon
26 Luke Hawker (Captain) (1989-12-29) 29 December 1989 (age 31) 93 Cardiff & Met
32 GK Ieuan Tranter (1994-11-07) 7 November 1994 (age 26) 22 Surbiton

See also


  1. "FIH Men's and Women's World Ranking". FIH. 30 June 2021. Retrieved 30 June 2021.
  2. "Hockey Wales". Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  3. "Wales". Retrieved 4 June 2021.