How long have you been in the team, Maaz?
This is my third, and very last year as a defensive midfielder for the hockey school team and I couldn't have possibly dreamed of a better way to end my journey!
For those of us who are not familiar with Hockey, what was the sequence of the games?
All the matches were held in one day at the Cambridge School in Abu Dhabi. Each match lasts for 20 minutes. We had to win two group stage matches to proceed to the semifinals. First we played against Cambridge D and we drew 0-0, but we qualified because they had lost their first match against another team. Our second match was against Cambridge C which we won 1-0. Our semi-final was against Cambridge B, which won again with the score of 2-0, and then we moved on to the finals against Cambridge A, and here we are today, the tournaments' champions!
Sounds like our team can beat any number of Cambridge teams! Which matches were the hardest?
Definitely the final against Cambridge A as they had really professional players. The semi final against Cambridge B was really easy because on average they have younger players and that's how it normally is. the difficulty of the game mostly depends on the opposing team members.
What was the best moment throughout the tournament?
After the time runs out we have 10 minutes to get a ‘golden goal’ otherwise the game moves to penalties, and the first team to score in those minutes wins. We had two scoring chances and time was running out and everyone thought the game is headed towards penalty shootouts until our striker, Talha, managed to score in the very last minute of the game before the whistle and it felt unbelievably great!
this is your last year here. i'm sure you must be really proud! any final advice for the future generations of TWS hockey players?
Well, the worst thing you could possibly do is to get nervous at the sight of bigger opponents. They shouldn’t. They should be determined and they needn’t play nice – no one does in hockey. The field of the hosting school might also be different to our astro turf over here in Westminster, so they should be prepared for that. But more than anything, they should have lots of training, determination, and passion for the sport and the school jersey, in the end, that's what it all comes down to.
..and that was it from maaz! here's to more future success for all our sports teams!