Andy Whalley: Guernsey hockey squad is best ever

Andy Whalley
Andy Whalley's side has lost three of the last four EH National Trophy finals

Guernsey hockey player-coach Andy Whalley says this year's squad is the strongest the island has had.

The islanders beat Crawley 5-0 in the opening round of the EH National Trophy as they aim for a fifth final in a row.

"All our other teams have been really good, but this is probably the one that has the most strength in depth," Whalley told BBC Radio Guernsey.

"Whenever you make a rotation you're not rotating for any difference in standard, everybody is very capable."

And Whalley says that strength in depth means there is competition for places as his side prepare for a second-round tie with Marlow on 15 November.

Guernsey's EH National Trophy final appearances
2015: Lost on sudden-death penalty flicks to Sheffield University Bankers after a 2-2 draw
2014: Beat Banbury 4-2 on penalty flicks after a 3-3 draw
2013: Lost 3-2 to Lewes
2012: Lost 2-1 to Gateshead
2009: Beat Henley 4-3

"It puts pressure on the players as everyone wants to play in the 11 that's on the park," he said.

"You've got five guys on the bench who are desperate to get on, so when it comes to training and games it puts pressure on everybody, so hopefully that'll bring the standard up.

"I'm quietly confident at the moment, I think I've got a better squad, so hopefully it should only go from strength to strength."