Roper & Creed look back on worst hockey moments

Brendan Creed #EHC2019
It’s fair to say not much is off limits for Brendan Creed and Phil Roper in their new podcast ‘Lets Stick Together’.

Whether it’s alternative names for their new show, asking Barry Middleton for his greatest ever five-a-side hockey team or which grounds they don’t particularly enjoy playing at, these two don’t hold back.

(We also advise that this is not a podcast for children given some of the content discussed and the language used)

In their latest episode, the two discussed some of their worst hockey experiences so far, with both recalling incidents from 2017.

First up it was Creed who recalled how the semi-final that summer’s EuroHockey Championships, where England played The Netherlands for a place in the final, took a turn for the worse in the second quarter.

“I got the ball at the back, tried to carry it out and saw what I thought was a worldie pass on so went for it,” he said. 

“But the issue with it was that I was stuck in the bottom right hand corner of the pitch and I was looking to go across to the left hand side [towards Roper, who was on the 23m line], so it was a really expansive pass. 

“It got intercepted by Glenn Schuurman, they win a corner, score and we go 1-0 down. I was pretty fragile at this stage so I was like ‘oh god, this is not ideal’.”

Unfortunately for Creed, history repeated itself a minute later as the Dutch added a second through Mirco Pruyser after another of his passes was intercepted.

England eventually lost the game 3-1 and Creed was crestfallen afterwards.

But instead of an arm round the shoulder, it was some bluntness from team-mate Mark Gleghorne that actually helped the defender through the situation and saw him back at his best as England beat Germany to win gold the following day.

“The funny thing is that when something like that happens people say ‘don’t worry about it, don’t worry about it – that thing happens’. 

“That’s pretty much what everyone was doing but I knew I’d messed up. I just wanted people to be a bit more honest. 

“Then Gleggy came up to me, asked how I was doing and I said ‘Gleg I’ve messed up big time’. He said ‘yeah, don’t do it tomorrow’. That was weirdly what I needed to hear. I had so much respect for that because he said ‘aye, you did – but that’s life, get on with it’. That’s the epitome of Gleg really.

“It's weird. You want to comfort people but sometimes it isn’t the answer when you know you’ve messed up. It’s just so bizarre how one time that might work and that might be the right thing to say, but another time someone saying ‘it wasn’t your fault’ is the wrong thing to say.”

For Roper, the moment he recalled as being his worst on a hockey pitch was the 2017 League Finals weekend when his side Wimbledon lost to Surbiton in the final.

Not only did Wimbledon let slip a three goal advantage in the final ten minutes before losing the shootout, just hours after the game he had to fly to Malaysia with the GB squad – many of whom were Surbiton players – to play in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Recounting the day, Roper said: “It was protocol that we had to be ready to go straight after the game so after the medal ceremony we went into an ice bath with the Surbiton players who had just won. 

“I was stood opposite Brendan and Dave Goodfield, who were the worst two people to be there, just looking at me with a big smile saying ‘unlucky Phil’. 

“Then we had to get a taxi straight to the airport. I was thinking I’ve got to put up with this lot for the next two weeks and walking round the airport for a while thinking ‘where did it all go wrong?’”

New episodes of ‘Lets Stick Together’ are currently released every Wednesday – click here to listen*.

*Again we would strongly advise that children do not listen to this podcast due to the nature of some of the content and the language used.