Coach and Sidmouth resident Gus McVey coaches Zimbabwe ladies to top 10 finish at Masters Hockey World Cup

PUBLISHED: 10:59 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:59 09 August 2018

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International hockey coach and Sidmouth resident Gus McVey has just returned from a very successful Masters Hockey World Cup that took place in the town of Terrassa just north of Barcelona in Spain.

International hockey coach and Sidmouth resident Gus McVey has just returned from a very successful Masters Hockey World Cup that took place in the town of Terrassa just north of Barcelona in Spain.

Gus was there as head coach of the Zimbabwean ladies’ 40s team, who ended the tournament in a very credible 10th out of 16 teams entered in that age group.

What made their efforts all the more admirable was that, because of flight issues, Gus only had his squad together two days before the start of the tournament!

His team was drawn in a pool with the United States, Wales and Argentina.

With temperatures constantly in the mid to upper 30 degrees centigrade the team played the first game of the tournament with the world watching the first-ever live streamed masters game.

However, the team stepped up on day one and caused the first upset by beating the United States 3-1.

On day two they took on Wales, only to lose 1-0, but a better goal difference saw them end the second set of games holding second place in the group stages.

Their third group game saw them meet an Argentinian side that had won both their first two matches. Zimbabwe struck first, but parity was restored by half-time.

It was only two late goals that consigned Zimbabwe to a 3-1 defeat, but that was enough to see the team finish second in the group behind Argentina.

That left them playing a first knock-out round tie against their neighbours on the African continent, South Africa. The tie ended all square at 2-2 and, in the subsequent penalty shoot-out, South Africa won 2-1.

It all meant Zimbabwe moved into the ninth to 13th play-off pool and, with a win over Italy before a narrow loss to New Zealand, it left Zimbabwe finishing 10th overall.

Gus said: “It really was an amazing achievement by the team. I am so proud of the fact that we got the chance to play for a quarter-final spot.

“The ladies have shown the world that Zimbabwe, even with all the issues going on in the country, is still a great sporting nation with the ability to stand toe to toe with some of the best hockey playing nations in the world.”

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