A HOCKEY-mad West Devon teenager is celebrating after winning a European title.

Alex Cole played in the European Championships held over two days last weekend with Team GB beating the German national team in the final of the European U-19 Roller Hockey Championships. This is the first time the title has been won by Team GB.

Against expectations Alex, 17, of Okehampton, and his teammates reached the finals at Borden Roller Hockey Rink in Hampshire after a qualifying competition against 11 teams and were up against the consistent top three in Europe - Switzerland, Austria and Germany, with Switzerland the current champions.

Alex, who is the goalkeeper, and his team won six of their seven games in the tournament. He played in four of the games including the final. The finals included playing opponents twice.

Team GB only lost one game in the finals and that was after taking their foot off the throttle a little, safe in the knowledge they had already enough points to reach the final which they won convincingly 7-4.

Alex has the winning habit with the puck or the ball in roller hockey. He has already won the U-16 category of the North American Roller Hockey Championships in 2019 in California and won best goalkeeper for his age group at the same event.

Alex’s dad Darryl used to play hockey, and, with wife Wendy, travels everywhere to Alex’s games. He said: ‘Alex is absolutely buzzing after this. Me and his mum are really proud of him again. The team did it the hard way against teams who are always top in Europe over the past decades. It’s extra special because it’s the first time our national team has won the Europeans in the 23 years it’s been held. The Swiss are the reigning champions and the other teams in the finals are always top in the medal tables. They were rather apprehensive before the event because the opposition was so strong and experienced with a winning background. Also, the Europeans play roller hockey with a ball, rather than a puck, making it faster than a puck and with more body contact. which makes it even more impressive.

Darryl is seeking sponsorship to support Alex with his kit. Anyone wanting to help is asked to contact [email protected]