By Natalie Wilkie
Trent College pupils were named winners of the 2014 National Under 16 Hockey competition, as part of the National Schools Championships for Boys, held in Cannock.
Having qualified for the final on goal difference, Trent College were handed the trophy after beating local team Repton, 1-0, with a penalty drag corner from Alex Bunz ensuring Trent’s success.
The Long Eaton independent school has won this trophy twice before, in 1992 and 2007, and reached the final on one other occasion, in 2010.
Mr Mark Wadsley, head of hockey at Trent College, said: “There was great joy at winning the title and defeating our closest rivals to do so. Congratulations to the boys in the team, and to those who had played a part in earlier rounds but were unable to play in the finals. Their determination, commitment and performances have earned the success and brought great credit to Trent College.”
Earlier this year, Trent College hockey captain, Sam Apoola and his team mate, Josh Pavis, both helped Beeston Men’s 1st XI become national champions for the second year running, while both boys also made their England Under 16 debuts at the 4 Nations Tournament in Germany over Easter.
Sam and Josh, along with goalkeeper Tom Hancock, and Max Sowter, were also part of Beeston’s U16s national championship winning side.
Trent College has over 30 pupils involved within Beeston H.C. junior teams, which have all competed at indoor and outdoor national tournaments this season.
Sam Apoola said: “I’ve been playing hockey for nearly eight years and have always wanted to represent my country. It was a brilliant experience in Germany and I even managed to score on my debut! The experience I gained from training and playing with Beeston 1st XI gave me great confidence, and I may not have had this opportunity if I was not at Trent College.”
Mr Wadsley, himself a Beeston Men’s 1st XI player, added: “It’s a unique link between Beeston H.C. and Trent College and this year has been incredible.
“It is great to see so many Trent College pupils develop through the season with the help of Beeston H.C. Both Sam and Josh have trained with the 1st XI squad and made their National League debuts towards the end of the season. It definitely helped their confidence when they went away with England U16s and into the schools’ finals.”