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Ellie Watton's Commonwealth Games diary: Part Three

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 26, 2014

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Over the course of the Commonwealth Games, former Repton School pupil Ellie Watton, who is competing for Team England at hockey, will share her experiences and thoughts on events in Glasgow.

IT has been a fantastic few days here in Glasgow!

The experience of walking into the arena at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony was incredible.

To have tens of thousands of people clapping and cheering you is an amazing feeling and one which I will forever cherish in my memories.

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Unfortunately we were only able to stay for a few minutes after parading around the stadium – we had to get back to the village and get to bed, as we were playing our first game the next day.

But it ranks among the best experiences of my life to date.

Such are the sacrifices that we sometimes have to make, but life as an international hockey player definitely has its bonuses.

It was then great to get a win on my Commonwealth Games debut!

Beating Wales 2-0 was a good start to our games, although, having recorded an 8-0 win against them in the London Cup two weeks ago, I think most pundits would have been expecting a few more goals.

It's true that we didn't play to our potential and it certainly wasn't the most fluid and flowing hockey, but we created a lot of chances and ground out the result that was needed to get us those all-important three points.

On the plus side, the goals that we did score were well executed, the first of which showcased Alex Danson's finishing at its very best.

With the score at 1-0 going into half-time, everyone in the squad remained confident that we would win the match and with the benefit of a few important tactical points from our coach Danny Kerry, we improved in the second half and got the second goal courtesy of a well-worked penalty corner – Nic White deflecting Kate Richardson-Walsh's precise pass. All credit to Wales, they defended very well and made life difficult for us but we showed some real grit and fight to get the result that was needed.

The mood in the group is therefore very positive and although we were slightly frustrated that we didn't play our best hockey against Wales, we are confident that we can improve and are looking forward to our next game against Malaysia in two days time.

That time will be taken up with rest and recovery sessions (to ensure that our bodies are properly physically prepared for the next match), together with video analysis and tactical meetings to make sure that our team strategies are right.

We face Malaysia at 11am tomorrow, followed by a huge game against Australia at 2pm on Monday, but hope to take the momentum of this win into both those matches.

Ellie

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