What we learned from our first FIH Pro League game

Phil Roper and Adam Dixon at the FIH Pro League
The brand new FIH Pro League got off to an amazing start for Great Britain's men as they came from 4-1 down to beat Spain 6-5 in their first game in this new global competition. Here's a few of the things we learned from our very first game:

Pro League delivers on its promise

This new competition was brought in to ensure that every single game means something, and boy has it delivered in its first week! In some previous tournaments, teams have qualified for knockout stages even when finishing bottom of their pools, but those days are no more. Spain scored twice in the last three minutes of their opening game, and with eleven goals in this match, there is absolutely no quarter given. Quite simply, this is why the FIHPL was brought into existence.

Britain's spirit and resilience
At 4-1 down with only 11 minutes gone - and with many of the team having played for England when they missed bronze at the World Cup in their last game - you could arguably forgive the men's team for feeling slightly downbeat at that point! But there was none of that on show from Danny Kerry's side, scoring five unanswered goals to completely turn the game on its head. And to then hold onto a one-goal lead for the final three minutes, the team showed real character.

#ThePride in the men's team
Great Britain's men have been on an upward curve in recent times, with many of the athletes winning European and Commonwealth medals since the last Olympics - and finishing fourth at the World Cup - with England. In addition Scotland and Wales have also experienced European success with promotion to the top tier. Across social media there is undoubtedly a growing following for the men's team, and their compatriots in the women's side were also on board!



Hockey back in the spotlight
It is great to see hockey back in the spotlight, live on BT Sport in front of a very good young crowd in Spain. With a number of GB's home games sold out, there is great excitement as this competition runs right through until June.

New youngsters stepping up to the plate
Zach Wallace produced one of the crucial moments in the game, scoring to make it 4-2 when another goal for Spain would surely have taken the game out of sight. But it was not just Zach; recent additions Rhys Smith and Jack Waller also very much played their part. With Josh Pavis, Will Calnan and Scotland's Lee Morton in the squad for the next games in New Zealand and Australia, there is room to be optimistic about the next wave of talent.

Corner count
Great Britain's penalty corners were absolutely perfect, scoring two from two, and keeping out Spain's five attempts. With a total of 52 circle entries in the match, it was one to behold!

Bearded wonders!
And lastly, who else noticed the new beards on Chris Griffiths and George Pinner!




A full list of FIH Pro League home games is available on See Tickets now.