Underwater hockey ace Billy secures European silver medal

Billy Sarsfield with Dunstable team-mate Claire Wiltshire
Billy Sarsfield with Dunstable team-mate Claire Wiltshire

It may have been a late call-up to the squad, but Billy Sarsfield helped Great Britain underwater hockey to a silver medal at the European Championships in Hungary.

No sooner had the the 22-year-old from Milton Keynes landed from the U23s World Championships in Australian, he called-up as a late injury replacement and he was soon boarding a plane destined for Hungary - his first involvement with the elite men’s squad.

“I was buzzing,” Billy admitted. “I’ve played two world cups with U19s and two with the U23s so it was great to be a part of it at the top level.”

Underwater hockey is played six-on-six, with players donning snorkels to sink to the bottom of the pool to fire the puck into the goal. Great Britain’s growing scene saw them head to the

competition among the favourites to take the gold. Cruising through the group stages, GB came up against favourites Turkey in the final.

Luck wouldn’t be on their side though, and a 5-3 defeat meant Billy came home with a silver medal.

He added: “We went out there to win. We’re one of the best teams in the world, so it was disappointing.

“But there is plenty for us to build on, and it was a great experience for me heading into the world cup next year.”