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Canterbury Hockey Club men's player-coach Craig Boyne looking forward to seeing new look squad develop

By Mark Stokes

Craig Boyne admitted he was not in any way bothered by Canterbury Hockey Club’s opening day defeat to Surbiton because he knows the city side will only get better.

The visitors and defending Men’s Premier Division champions led 3-0 inside 11 minutes on their way to a 6-2 success at Polo Farm on Saturday but Canterbury player-coach Boyne says he saw a host of positives in his new-look team’s performance.

Canterbury fielded no less than 11 debutants, including German twins Christian and Daniel Schellinger, and Boyne says the more the squad play together, the better they will get.

Craig Boyne. Picture: Ady Kerry
Craig Boyne. Picture: Ady Kerry

The Australian, who was one of Canterbury’s scorers against Surbiton, said: “I don’t think any team in the league has made as many changes as we have and during the first 10 minutes of each half we got blitzed.

“There’s no problem admitting that because they are a quality side, the best in the country.

“The good thing for me was that the boys did not shy away.

“It can be easy to give up when you find yourself in a situation like that but they stepped up to the challenge and kept fighting.

“We’ve only really come together as a team in the last week-and-a-half but I saw enough on Saturday to suggest that the side will develop pretty quickly.”

Canterbury have built a reputation in recent years as a second-half of the season team but Boyne says they must break that mentality.

The former skipper also said they need to discover a level of consistency and not just save their best for when they play the top teams.

He added: “I’m not concerned at all about the result against Surbiton. It’s the games against the teams nearer the bottom where we have to step up and make sure we are clinical.

“There were a few occasions last year when we didn’t take points from games we should have and your luck only lasts so long.This year we want to be in it to do well and not just survive.”

Canterbury travel to Reading (2.30pm) on Sunday and are boosted by the inclusion of midfield duo, Andrew Sutherland and newcomer Nathan McGuire, with whom Boyne has played with in Western Australia.

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