EuroHockey 2017: England looking to avoid penalties against Dutch - Hinch

Maddie Hinch
Hinch plays her club hockey at Dutch side Stichtsche in Utrecht
EuroHockey Championships 2017
Venue: Wagener Stadium, Amsterdam Dates: 18-27 August
Women's semi-finals: Germany v Belgium (24 August, 16:00 BST) Netherlands v England (24 August, 19:00)
Men's semi-finals: Germany v Belgium (25 August, 16:00), Netherlands v England (25 August, 19:00)

England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch says her side want to avoid another penalty shootout when they face the Netherlands in the EuroHockey semi-finals.

Defending champions England face the hosts in Amsterdam on Thursday.

Hinch, 28, starred as England beat the Netherlands on penalties in the EuroHockey gold-medal match in 2015 and again for Great Britain's gold in Rio.

"If it went to penalties again that would just be weird - let's try and win it in normal time," she said.

In last year's EuroHockey final, Hinch produced a stunning performance as she saved three penalties and made a number of other brilliant stops.

And at the Rio Olympics she saved all four penalties to claim a historic gold for Team GB.

But the goalkeeper, known as 'Mad Dog' for her reckless bravery, says history will be "put to one side" against the world number one side this week.

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This is what you work so hard for - Hinch

"We've got a good history against them but it's a new-look orange side and a new-look English side so we've got to just deliver in that 60 minutes.

"We're meeting them a little earlier than we would have liked but we're reigning European and Olympic champions so it's going to be a tight affair.

Hinch, who was crowned female goalkeeper of the year in 2016, currently plays her club hockey at Dutch side Stichtsche in Utrecht.

"This could be the biggest crowd that I've ever played in front of. We get to play the Dutch here in Amsterdam in front of 10,000 people," she added.

"This is the stuff that really excites me and it's what you work so hard to play in."

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