Colin Murray: How hockey has enthralled me

Colin Murray

Journalist Colin Murray has been absolutely inspired by Great Britain's Women's hockey team in Rio and has outlined just why the nation can get behind our sport.

Colin has been following Danny Kerry's side since day one, and in his own words he has been enthralled by our team's performances, attitude and togetherness, as well as the sport itself for its dynamism, excitement and brutality. Quite simply, he called our side 'the epitome of what team sports should be.'

Speaking on his TalkSPORT radio show the day after our quarter final win against Spain, Colin said, "I had a taste of hockey at London 2012 when I went to see a match involving Team GB's women, and saw just how tough a sport it is.

"They are sensational, wonderful. They play like it's their entire world and it's all that matters on the planet. There are tears throughout the Olympics but there are rivers flowing at the hockey arena. I have just been enthralled by it from start to finish.

"You've joined the cycling bandwagon, the swimming bandwagon, you've even joined the diving bandwagon. This is the sport you want to jump on now. If they go all the way, and it's a big if, it'll be one of the stories of the Olympics. It will really relate.

"We've had some messages in to the show, Matt says he's never watched hockey before but the game is crazy, brutal and mad but great! He's right, until you watch it you don't realise how brutal it is and that they wear masks defending penalty corners.

"Mark says it's great to hear hockey talked about and Pete says it's getting the airtime it deserves. There's so much going on in the Olympics that hockey has to be good to get hooked from the first game! Now Wednesday 9pm is perfect for the semi-final, it's against New Zealand who they call the BlackSticks, which I love!

"This team bring everything to the table that football was when I was growing up. The majority will have to work when they finish playing, in fact probably all of them. The funding depends on medalling, a medal would help secure funding for four years, so it means a huge amount for the entire sport, that's what they're playing for!

"We've talked about the way football and rugby players treat refs, I think they [hockey] have got it right, they're right in the middle. A couple of times inside the huddle they've had to apologise for fruity language!

"So I ask you, please watch them, there is not 1% of disillusion or disunity. Everyone who harps on about what football used to be like, watch these girls, they are sensational. Now they're close to glory, people will start watching.

"They are the epitome of what team sports should be."

To listen to the whole discussion, go here, then click 12:30-13:00 and start from 7:44.