Y Driegiau Coch: Team Wales Preview

Y Driegiau Coch means “The Red Dragon” in Welsh and the Welsh National team will be channeling that fierceness during their World Championship run come July the 10th. The Welsh are coming off some steady performances at the 2010 and 2012 World and European Championships respectively, placing 11th at the 2010 Worlds and 10th at the 2012 European Championships.

Wales has been a consistent team when it comes to final placing at the World Championships, falling in the 10 to 15 range of teams. Unfortunately the Welsh get overshadowed by their British Isles neighbors of England, Scotland and Ireland; All of whom finished in the top 10 at the 2010 World Championships.

Wales will be competing in the Plum Division which includes Argentina, New Zealand and Russia. For Wales this should be a fairly easy group stage and set them up to go into the high portions of the tournament. In the group the only foreseeable problem is New Zealand, and they could give Wales a game like the Netherlands did in 2010. Fortunately the Welsh will not take on the Kiwi’s tell the third day of pool play, this should help the Welsh seeing as Russia is in their first World Championship and Argentina has struggled in 2010.

If Wales won the Plum Division they would take on the winner of the Green Division which would either be China, Italy, the Netherlands, or Norway. Any of which could have a legitimate shot at taking that group.

The Welsh players that need to be kept an eye on are goalie James Richardson, who showed tremendous talent and calm during the 2012 European Championships in Amsterdam. Another is Rhodri Stanford, who has been representing the Welsh side since the ’03 U19 World Championships. Stanford is a force at the faceoff and can create outstanding transition offense. Another player to keep an eye on is the young Andrew Gresham who has been playing in Canada for a number of box and field clubs and is uncommitted at the moment, he also was on the Welsh U19 team at the 2012 U19 World Championships.

The rest of the squad shapes up like this:
James Richardson – Norbury
Simon Jones – Sheffield Steelers

Jon Mills – Hitchin
Mark Jones – Cheadle
Jason Jones – Wilmslow
Rhodri Evans – Sheffield Steelers
Matt Parkes – Bristol
Andy Hopkins – Hitchin
Chris Bishop – Hitchin

Ryan Walker – East Grinstead
Rhodri Stanford – Hitchin
Eddie Owen – Manchester Wacs
Alex Williams – Leeds
Steve McDermott – Hitchin
David Howie – Walcountian Blues
David Leach – Hitchin
Alan Croft – Hitchin

James Perrin – Wilmslow
Johnny Harry – Hitchin
Jack Murray – Brooklands
Paul Simpson – Brooklands
Eoin Dunne – Hillcroft
Andrew Gresham – British Columbia

The Welsh kick off their tournament against Russia at 11am EST.