Havant’s six of the best get England call

From left: Charlie Stubbings, Ollie Nail, Ben Mackey, Sam Hatherley,  Rebecca Van-Berkel and Daniel Faulkner
From left: Charlie Stubbings, Ollie Nail, Ben Mackey, Sam Hatherley, Rebecca Van-Berkel and Daniel Faulkner
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Havant’s next generation looks set to carry on the club’s fine tradition of producing internationals after six of their youngsters earned call-ups for England.

Daniel Faulkner, Sam Hatherley and Ben Mackey have all got the nod for England’s under-18s, Ollie Nail and Charlie Stubbings have received their maiden international selections for the under-16s and Rebecca Van Berkel progresses to the England girls’ under-18s after stepping up from the under-16s.

With half-a-dozen players in the England ranks, it’s a source of great pride for Havant president Chris Pickett, who believes the club is set for a bright future.

He said: ‘It’s a tremendous achievement. No other club in the country has provided so many youngsters for the England squads.

‘We’ve had a lot of international players come through at Havant.

‘We’ve had David Faulkner and Russell Garcia, and what is interesting now is that David (Faulkner) and Peter Nail – who were in the side that won three league titles in four years – it’s their sons who have now been selected.

‘It’s the next generation coming through and hopefully they can go on to be as successful.

‘But all six of them are talented players and it’s great for them to receive their recognition.

‘I’m sure they will go on to do very well.’

It’s a busy schedule for the young internationals, with both under-18 teams playing in the Four Nations and European Championships this year.

The girls are in Valencia, Spain, between April 22-25, while their male counterparts will enjoy home advantage at Lilleshall as they prepare for the Europeans.

Both teams will then travel to Kampong, Holland, where they will play at the Euros against Holland, Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Spain and France in July.

The under-16s play their Four Nations tournament at Lilleshall in April, and will also take on Scotland, Belgium and Germany in one-off matches.

And Pickett believes there could be plenty more joining the latest batch of internationals as the club devotes its attention to youth development.

He said: ‘We’ve got a very good junior set-up and we provide high levels of coaching and expertise.

‘We put these kids in the right type of environment and we’ve grown a reputation of looking after these youngsters.

‘In the National League, most players are in their late 20s and early 30s, so the youngsters who come through don’t get any exposure to National League hockey.

‘At Havant, we’ve got a very young side, which means they play quite regularly and their development is faster.

‘We sometimes start getting them as five-year-olds and it helps that they get an introduction to the sport at an early age.

‘We’re also just about to re-launch our Coaching in the Community project where we send level two coaches into local schools to either introduce the game to them or to speed up their development if they are already playing.

‘We’re getting them young and bringing them through.’