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Huge summer beckons for Dixon

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Penalty hero Adam Dixon is aiming for place in the hockey world cup and Commonwealth Games after helping his club to a league championship.

Former Newark Hockey Club player Dixon held his nerve to convert his penalty after the championship play-off final against East Grinstead went to a shoot-out.

Beeston, captained by Dixon, won 3-1 to retain their English Hockey League title.

The victory is the latest in an impressive season for Dixon, in which the 27-year-old enjoyed a good tournament in the World League Final for GB, and played games in the Indian Hockey League.

Dixon said: “I was quietly confident I would score my penalty. I’ve been practising them quite a lot in training with the England squad and we’ve even had help from a psychologist.

“You’re the one with the ball and the goalkeeper doesn’t know what you’re going to do so the pressure is on him to react. Before and during the game like this you’re always going to have nerves but you can channel them and use them to your advantage.

“We had played a game just 24 hours earlier so my legs were gone by half-time and I had to dig deep.

“I got quite emotional when we won because it’s been a tough season.

“We have had injuries and one of our players, Martin Scanlon, played our first few games but was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“It’s been a painful season at times but that’s why this win feels like it is the best one.”

The action doesn’t stop for Dixon, and the Buckingham–shire-based player will embark on a busy spring and summer schedule, which includes a European competition with Beeston and preparation matches for England ahead of the Hockey World Cup, where a good performance could earn him a Great Britain place at the Commonwealth Games.

Dixon said: “The World Cup is the big one as it comes around every four years and we will be playing in front of 18,000 to 20,000 people when normally we get a couple of a hundred on a good day for Beeston.

“We have got a good chance of winning a medal there as we played well in the World League Final in New Delhi against some of the teams taking part in the World Cup.

“It would be great to make it to the Commonwealth Games as well because you get a taste of living with the athletes and it’s the only other multi-sport competition along with the Olympics where hockey as a sport is involved.”

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