Get to know everything about the Valencia Fallas Trophy 2016!
After a few exciting weeks, finally, we present an official summary of the Valencia Fallas Trophy where you will find all the information about the participants, the matches and the good cheer we had.
Including both coaches and players, over 130 people participated in the Valencia Fallas Trophy 2016 representing six different teams, from different areas from across Spain and the rest of Europe. From Germany came the boys from Hamburger Polo Club and also as an international team, the French from Wattignies H.C. Four Spanish teams also participated: C.H. Pozuelo from Madrid, the boys of F.C. Barcelona, C.H. San Fernando from Cadiz and the local C.H. Xaloc.
As Matthias Witthaus (player-coach at Hamburger Polo Club) puts it, the Valencia Fallas Trophy offers “a very interesting opportunity to compete against international teams. Overall, it is a great opportunity for a lot of people. ”
After the definition of the competition groups, the Valencia Fallas Trophy would be disputed with the following distribution of teams:
Hamburger Polo Club
C.H. San Fernando
On Thursday 10th March our first guests arrived in Valencia. Direct from Germany, the Hamburger Polo Club boys landed in the city with a clear objective: to take home the 1,000€ Valencia Fallas Trophy award. Once they were settled in Residence La Petxina, they went directly to the famous blue hockey pitch to train. They did the same on Friday morning, before approaching the Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Valencia’s main square in front of Town Hall) to enjoy a traditional Valencian “Mascletà”.
That same Friday morning the boys from C.H. San Fernando arrived at the sports complex Verge del Carme – Beteró. At the same time, the French team from Wattignies H.C. landed at Valencia Airport. The boys from C.H. Pozuelo arrived before their game at 20:00. F.C. Barcelona arrived in Valencia for the official welcome cocktail.
At 17:00 on Friday 11th March the international hockey tournament that we were all waiting for finally started. C.H. San Fernando would face the boys from Wattignies H.C. in an exciting match that remained deadlocked: 0-0.
The second match of the day was that of the host team. C.H. Xaloc faced Hamburger Polo Club, one of the favourites to win the championship. The game ended 2-7 in Hamburg’s favour making it clear that this team would not bow to others.
The last match of the evening would be played between Wattignies H.C. and C.H. Pozuelo, a close game that ended with a favourable, and perhaps undeserved 3-0 win for the team from Madrid.
At the end of the first day of competition, players, coaches, referees, table officials, volunteers and organisers enjoyed a light dinner. This came after the welcoming speech given by the event’s Managing Director, Lars Boecking and our international ambassador, Carlos Nevado. Food, drink, laughter, music and the opportunity to share a beer with those who had earlier been your opponent on the field: it was a fantastic first evening!
On Saturday morning three other matches would impact league standings in both groups and, consequently, the semi-final matches and the fifth place match. The day began with the game between F.C. Barcelona and C.H. Xaloc. C.H. Xaloc opened the scoring 9 minutes into the match before F.C. Barcelona knocked in three goals without concession; the Catalonians took the victory.
In the second match of the morning C.H. Pozuelo beat C.H. San Fernando 3-0 in a closely matched game. Owing to this, the boys from Madrid finished top of group B and let Cadiz’s boys and Wattignies H.C. tied on points and goals. Both teams would have to fight for the semi-final place in a penalty shoot-out.
The third match on Saturday would be between the Hamburger Polo Club and F.C. Barcelona. The game was hard, fast, intense, and, although the Hamburg began by opening the scoring, the boys from F.C. Barcelona went on to win the game 2-1. F.C. Barcelona won Group A, leaving C.H. Xaloc in last place.
In the afternoon, all teams enjoyed lunch in the VIP area next to the field. The players had some time to rest, but activity on the field did not stop. Youth teams from the organising club, C.H. Xaloc, had their own tournament in which children from different schools associated to the club competed. What an atmosphere!
At 16:00 the official competition of the Valencia Fallas Trophy resumed with penalty shootouts between C.H. San Fernando and C.H. Wattignies. It was neck-and-neck and it wasn’t until the seventh round, once we’d entered sudden death, that Wattignies H.C. secured their place in the semi-final to face F.C. Barcelona.
At 16:30, the semi-final between C.H. Pozuelo (group B’s champion) and Hamburger Polo Club (runner-up in Group A) took place. The game was tense and hard-fought, but ended goalless. The draw took us to another series of shoot-outs in the afternoon. The boys from Hamburger Polo Club took victory on this occasion and were through to the final of the Valencia Fallas Trophy.
The second semi-final between Wattignies H.C. and F.C. Barcelona began at 18:00, and once again ended goalless. Yet another round of shootouts would help determine which team would face the Germans in the final. Finally it was the F.C. Barcelona who won the shootouts and qualified for Sunday’s final.
The last game of the day was the one which decided who would hold fifth place in the tournament. The players of C.H. Xaloc faced those from C.H. San Fernando and both very much wanted to win. The 3-1 win went to C.H. San Fernando, and so too did fifth place. C.H. Xaloc finished last.
At the end of Saturday’s games, everyone enjoyed a tasty barbecue and some good music. We danced, sung and had a lot of fun.
On Sunday we started the day early, at 09:00 the match betweenC.H. Pozuelo and Wattignies H.C. took place. The boys from Madrid defeated the French team 6-0 and so finished the tournament in third place.
At 10:30 the final between F.C. Barcelona and Hamburger Polo Club started. After an intense first half with Hamburg leading 2-1, we would have to wait until the third quarter before the Catalonian team levelled the game. In a vibrant fourth quarter, Matthias Witthaus, German double Olympic gold-medallist, sealed the match by adding two more goals for Hamburg in the 54th and 57th minutes. The Germans had exacted their revenge after their previous encounter where they lost 2-1 against F.C. Barcelona.
After the defeat, Pablo Sainz (coach at F.C. Barcelona) told us the following about his plans for the next Valencia Fallas Trophy: “We are looking forward to next year, coming to the Valencia Fallas Trophy and coming to win the prize.”
Once the match had finished, the event gave way to the prize-giving ceremony. Falleras, music bands, firecrackers and the sun shining in the sky. Marcos Martínez won “best referee”, Iván Oliva from C.H. San Fernando won “best goalkeeper” and Matthias Witthaus from Hamburger Polo Club won “best player”. F.C. Barcelona was awarded the American School of Valencia’s Sport Values Trophy. Congratulations to all of you!
After the delivery of the individual trophies, third place was given to C.H. Pozuelo by Jesús Gracia, FHCV’s president; second place to F.C. Barcelona by Juan José Vidal, C.H.Xaloc’s president; and first place, plus the 1.000€ cheque was given by Lars Boecking, managing director of the Valencia Fallas Trophy.
Once the awards were handed out, our “Paellada” began and everyone had a chance to enjoy the music, the party and the flavour of a typical Valencian dish, paella.
Ultimately, “We’ve all been great. The games have been very evenly matched, the teams are very competitive and we hope to return next year to have the same experience”, as Pablo Usoz (C.H. Pozuelo’s coach) told us.
We will be waiting for all of you for Valencia Fallas Trophy 2017!