Sunday, July 5, 2009

Champion's Challenge: Paul Revington's thoughts on first tournament with Ireland

Ahead of his first ranking tournament in charge of the Irish team, The Hook caught up with Paul Revington to get his thoughts on the Champion’s Challenge II event.

The Hook (TH): How do you feel the squad is currently shaping up?
Paul Revington (PR): “I think we’re pretty spot on. In terms of our planning in terms of the regional programme and the games that we’ve had, all the guys should be entering the games on Monday fit and excited to play having not over-played.

“Especially seeing as this is a home tournament, everyone gets excited about a home event. The reason why we didn’t send a first team to the Celtic Cup was that we ran the risk of by the time we get to Europe, which is still the main event, of players running dry from the emotional point of view so we should be ok.”

TH: Did the Celtic Cup create some last minute headaches for selection with their performance last week?
PR: “It’s what is needed both amongst the senior squad and the players fighting to be up there. Every club game, every game that this lot play from a selection or performance point of view should be an assessment and everyone needs to be getting into a habit of taking more pride in their performance; the standard that they are setting and what happened in the Celtic Cup is fantastic for us. So, no headaches at all."

TH: Were you surprised with how the newcomers performed in that tournament?
PR: “Winning the event, I was surprised; but I wasn’t surprised by the manner in which the guys dealt with the event. They got on with minimal preparation but the majority of them are in our regional programme. In Munster, Leinster, Ulster, the regional programme has been fantastic and they literally took their energy from there straight into the tournament. That wasn’t surprising.”

TH: Regarding your opposition this week, do you have much information to hand about them?
PR: “From a video point of view, we’ve a fair bit of video but, not to come across disrespectfully to the opposition, there are lots of things we need to get right ourselves and the majority of the focus is still on ourselves to make sure we get our own performance and our own structure of play right.

"Obviously you prepare for the opposition but there are enough guys who have played against all the teams in the Champs Challenge before so we are not too likely to come against a complete unknown entity."

TH: And what about the contention that Irish teams can produce some brilliant, one-off results but have struggled to finish off tournaments well in recent times.
PR:“To break that type that type of monkey on a team or countries back, the reality is you have to accumulate a series of wins. I know its sounds simplistic but it’s what needs to happen rather than over-analysing, we’ve got to get into the habit of winning games one at a time.

"If you win, you get used to winning and that thought is dominant in your mind. You will then generally become a side that finishes off tournaments. For us, at the moment, it’s about performance needed so we prevail at the end of every game and get into a habit where there are lots of W’s beside our team’s name.

TH: Finally, after a few issues in the build-up to the 2006 World Cup with South Africa, how do you feel the structures in Ireland have helped prepare your side?
PR: “Going into the Challenge event, we’ve had enough games for the players to not feel undercooked or that they haven’t performed enough. It’s different to back in South Africa. With the IHL, there would be more competitive club games, players playing in the EHL. When you add those games up, it makes a big difference.

"Teams in Europe have an advantage. From our guy’s perspective, they’ve had enough games at the moment in the last couple of months to be able to enter a tournament really sharp and in form whereas in SA back in 2006, we didn’t play a test match for four months before the World Cup.”


Jugjet Singh said...

I'm from -- would u be posting results in real time for the champions challenge II?
The FIH website is still sleeping as at this minute, and it would be of great help if you can post the results in real time.
Thank you.

Queso said...

Keep an eye on this website Jugjet... It should be kept up to date more regularlys than FIH.