Ashley Jackson Proves Hockey and Ice Hockey Can Compare





Ashley Jackson” by Fourthandfifteen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hockey and ice hockey are two sports that have many differences, but also many similarities. This means that skills learnt by players can transfer should a player want to swap codes and move onto the ice, or move from off the ice and onto the field. One player who has recently made that move is Ashley Jackson, and he is showing that the two sports can compare, and skills can work for both of them.

Ashley Jackson is clearly a very talented individual, and one that is currently showing his skills are capable of helping him play at both field hockey and ice hockey. His hockey career took him to the very top, and he is the all-time top England goalscorer, putting up some remarkable numbers for them. His team are currently preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and they are going to miss a player of his ability when they head to the competition. However, he felt the need to change codes, and he now focuses his attention on ice hockey.

Ice hockey in the UK isn’t a sport where Jackson can play at the very top level, but he enjoys playing the sport much more, and that was the biggest factor surrounding his decision. The top level of ice hockey is the NHL, which is a league that takes place in North America, and one where all the best players in the world head to. The Toronto Maple Leafs are favourites to win the Stanley Cup in the upcoming season, and the latest NHL betting odds has them 7/1 favourites to do so.

 

Basingstoke Ice Arena” by Sebastian Ballard (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jackson will never get to that kind of level, and he is currently playing for Basingstoke, who are in the second tier of British ice hockey and play at a semi-professional level. The story of Jackson shows that skills can compare between the two different types of hockey but it also tells you a lot about his outlook on life, and the type of person that Jackson it. When playing hockey, he had everything; he represented his country at the highest level, was a professional player, and held the record as the all-time top England goalscorer. That will have given him great pleasure, and he was making a fantastic career for himself playing hockey, however, the sport no longer filled the needs of Jackson.

Instead, he moved across to ice hockey, giving up the chance to play at the 2020 Olympics and ending his professional sports career, and swapping it for a semi-professional one. It is a big and brave move that Jackson has made, but one that he should be applauded for. He had everything in the sport of hockey, but wanted more and wanted something that hockey couldn’t give him. He no longer hits the headlines and has a lower profile after the move, but ice hockey makes him happy, and that is the reason behind Jackson making the move – something he deserves a lot of credit for.

By Pablo Mendoza

Pablo Mendoza is an FIH Hockey Academy Educator and the CEO of A Hockey World. Contact: pablo@ahockeyworld.net

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