Following an intense period of international hockey, the FIH have earlier today released an update to the FIH Hero World Rankings and it is good reading for Wales. On the back of a solid summer of performances Hockey Wales are thrilled to announce that the Wales men’s team have risen a colossal 8 places in the world, whilst the women’s team remain in 26th place holding a strong position.
Now siting at 24th in the world; this 8-place rise puts Wales men at the top of the climbers list this year as well as seeing the highest jump from Wales in many years.
Head of Performance, Dan Clements shared his delight at this exciting news: "After a positive 2017 we are really pleased to see the players and coaches hard work over recent years being rewarded with the latest World ranking updates. To have both genders in the mid 20's is a fantastic achievement and is testament to recent performances and results. It’s great to see our men as the highest climbers overall, climbing 8 places is a huge achievement and one the nation should be proud of. The most pleasing aspect of this however is the potential of where both groups could go given the desire that exists within each group, it promises to be an exciting few years ahead for both”
Wales Men’s Head Coach, Zak Jones said “I’m obviously delighted with the news and pleasantly surprised by the number of places we have advanced. The updated rankings are a reflection of all the passion, commitment and hard work the players and staff have put into the programme over the past couple of years, and are a clear indication of the progress we have made in that time both on and off the field. The challenge for us as a group now, is to try and maintain that momentum through the next two-year cycle and to continue to build a culture and environment that will allow us to improve further whilst competing regularly with those teams ranked above us."
Wales men recently celebrated the success of securing their place in the top Division in Europe in 2019 after beating France in a tense semi-final 4-3 during the EuroHockey Championship II held in Glasgow; the 2nd place finish that has unequivocally formed part of today’s new rankings.
Wales Women’s Head Coach, Kevin Johnson explains the importance of the women retaining their world ranking position “It’s obviously pleasing to see us retain our World ranking position after having a sizeable rise last time round, as well as accruing more useful points after a good performance at the Europeans in the summer. As a group we continue to look to develop in all the areas we have identified in order to give us the best chance for the future success in tournaments and ultimately further improvement in our ranking position.”
For a full update of the world rankings go to http://www.fih.ch/news/updated-fih-hero-world-rankings-released/