Super Southsea retain Europush Championship
DAVE BAILEY insisted every Southsea Octopush squad member played their part for them to retain their Europush Championship underwater hockey title.
Southsea became the first British team to win the tournament 12 months ago.
And they were at their very best again in this year’s competition, which took place in St Marlo, France.
Southsea went unbeaten throughout the tournament.
They were drawn in the so-called group of death in the first round, along with the champions from France, Holland and Turkey respectively.
Bailey’s men made it through to the next round, finishing second only on goal difference to go into the top group the next day.
Southsea upped their game further, winning four matches and losing just the once to scoop the honours.
Their consistency saw them take the title, with the other teams all dropping points against one another.
Southsea showed great resilience to beat second-placed Pontoise 1-0 in their final game.
Bailey revealed there was more pressure on Southsea going into this year’s competition, and was proud of his outfit.
He said: ‘We knew we were in with a chance going into it.
‘There was definitely more pressure on us going into the tournament.
‘To win it back-to-back is very difficult because everyone is out to get you.
‘We were the guys to beat for all of the others.
‘It was a group of death, but we came through by the skin of our teeth.
‘The next day the guys really stepped it up.
‘It’s a tough tournament to win.
‘Some of the teams who go to the tournament bring in other players from different clubs.
‘We’ve got a very good club ethos.
‘They all work hard outside of training, putting in hours and hours every week.
‘Everyone played really well.
‘We have a players’ player of the tournament and everyone received votes.
‘Our captain, Matt Willis, leads the team very well.
‘But all the guys put in a shift and they couldn’t have done it without one another.’
The season is still not finished for Southsea.
They defend their national championship crown in Sheffield at the end of next month.
For the past two years, Southsea have won all of the major titles up for grabs.