Four Milford High School Field Hockey Players recently returned from Barcelona, Spain where they spent ten days training and playing the sport on an international level. Darby Brennan, Kayla Brennan, Kate Melvin and Courtney Lingo were selected to participate in the Word Tour International Camp where they received the highest level of coaching from players and coaches around the world.
Last September the girls competed with over 200 participants in the World Camp USA at Swarthmore College, as they brought home the gold for Milford. It was an opportunity for them to work with talented coaches from World Camp USA, and receive the highest level of coaching expertise from Dutch development trainers, who have consistently produced Olympic and World Champions. Invited from that camp to join players from across the globe, the four Milford students boarded a plane to Spain and learned field hockey as the Europeans play it.
Though the girls knew it would be an exciting experience, they were in for a surprise when they learned that European field hockey can be much different than the sport in the states. Played by both men and women in Europe, international field hockey is a more aggressive sport. “With two-a-day practices it was so intense but it was a lot of fun,” commented Darby Brennan. “They have a different way of viewing the sport and a different style of teaching it, it helped me to become a more technical and tactical player.”
At camp the girls met players from the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Argentina. Commenting that those girls were more “reserved than Americans” off the field, Kayla Brennan recognized that on the field the intensity was turned up. “It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but it was the most encouraging, said Kayla Brennan. “The style of play is different, there is no time to think you just play though being tired, it is a lot of fun.”
While overseas, the girls had the opportunity to see the history and culture of Spain as they visited the famous Catedral de Barcelona and viewed the Roman ruins that are still preserved around the city. Talking with individuals from several countries around the world, the girls commented that most of the players they met did not have sports in school but only in club leagues. They even commented that daily or weekly occurrences such as eating a large meal or going out to eat is considered a privilege to many of the girls they played alongside.
“It made you appreciate things that you are given so much and that we take for granted,” commented Courtney Lingo. “You do not realize how much your family means to you. It is awesome that all four of us were able to share this experience.”
Flying back to the United States just in time for Milford’d field hockey preseason, the girls joined their team on the field ready to share their experience. Looking to return to the Delaware State Tournament this year, the four now international players are ready to lead the Milford team. “This trip made me a better player and I can see it already,” commented, Kate Melvin. “It will be great to carry all that we learned into this season.”