Where have you been based over the lockdown period? Surely, it’s been hard to stay fit? What have you been up to?
I’ve actually been down from London at my family’s house in Hampshire since the beginning of March. It seems really strange as I haven’t lived at home properly since I was 18 but I have loved it. We picked up a new puppy in January, so I’ve loved being able to spend time with him and seen him grow up.
In terms of fitness, I’ve been doing a lot of running and doing HIIT workouts every morning before I start the day. A PT, called Bradley Simmons, has been running daily live classes on Instagram which have been brilliant and have kept me busy! It’s also been great having my brother at home, who is training for a marathon, so I’ve been running with him lots!
You played several sports through your school career, such as cricket and rugby. Do you think playing a variety of sports improved your hockey ability?
Definitely. Just being part of team sports has definitely had a positive impact on my hockey in terms of working together, bonding etc.
At the age of 15 you gave up rugby, in order to train with Bournemouth HC. You were selected for various performance centres and attended HIPAC. But you were never selected for Futures Cup. How did you stay motivated?
When I was 15, I decided to stop playing rugby in order to focus on my Hockey. During our rugby term at school, I would play Hockey for my local club on a Saturday in the Hampshire Men’s league. This was a huge stepping-stone in terms of development and playing competitive adult hockey from a young age. I would highly recommend this for any young player!
That’s correct. I was never selected for futures when I was younger. I was always very small and developed really late on (16/17 years old) which I think was a big factor for me in terms of the physical / speed aspect of the game. I really pushed myself through BHC and school hockey which kept my motivation high and enjoyed playing in those two environments.
You were selected for your first England U21 development camp at the age of 19 and became a full U21 Squad member in 2014. Did you feel comfortable playing at that level at such a young age, or did it take numerous camps and fixtures?
I was selected for the England 21s squad quickly after leaving school joining Reading HC. I was offered a trial with the current 21s squad and was quickly successful in transitioning into the team. We trained as a squad two times per month. This normally consisted of 2-day camps or small trips away. I probably felt comfortable playing in that environment after my first year with the squad. This was because it took me a while to get up to the speed & quality which the group offered. The players at my club at the time (Reading HC) were hugely influential in my development as we had 7/8 Great Britain current men’s players at the time in my club squad who were competing for the Rio Olympics at the time.
In 2018 you signed for Surbiton HC from Reading HC. Are you pleased with your first couple of seasons at the club from a personal, and team perspective?
I left Reading HC after 5 brilliant years post leaving school. I loved my time there and met some fantastic friends along the way. I moved to Surbiton HC in the summer of 2018 which meant I could re-locate and start living in London.
My first season was really positive as we finished top of the league. During this first season I also represented England in the European Hockey League Competition out in Holland. We lost on flicks to the team who eventually won the whole thing!
We’ve just completed my 2nd season with the club and we won the English Title this year, and also won the Indoor Premier division over Christmas too. So, for me, another very successful season!
Next season we have a great chance to compete for the European title with our QF taking place in Amsterdam in October!
You also founded James Cromwell Swimwear. Has it been tough running a clothing brand and playing professional hockey? How do you manage your time?
I Co-Founded JCL with a school friend in the summer of 2017. It’s being great running a business alongside all the playing / coaching I do day to day. There are always challenges to overcome like anything, but I’m learning so much with it and doing such a wide variety of roles within the business including customer service, fulfilment and social media bits. We’re looking forward to what the future holds for the brand!
This interview was conducted by Tom Pittman, Athlete Manager at The S Word.