England Hockey President to visit Magpies
England Hockey President Martin Gotheridge and his wife Margaret are visiting Weybread this Saturday (22 September) to present the Club with its Clubs 1st award and to mark Sport England’s much appreciated CCDP grant of £35000 towards the refurbishment of the sand-based pitch. We hope they enjoy their visit.
Tea and biscuits will be served from 9.30am with the presentations taking place at 10.00am. The early start is to enable the presentations to take place during a youth coaching session as the focus of Clubs 1st is very much on young people. All members and parents will be very welcome to attend.
The season gets into full swing over the next couple of weeks and I wish all our captains and teams the very best for the months ahead.
I take this opportunity to show below Nick McAllen’s notes for this Saturday’s national league programme when the Ladies’ 1sts entertain Sunderland (12.30pm) and Robert Stimpson’s preview of the forthcoming men’s season.
Today sees the start of a new season of the Slazenger England Hockey League Division 1 programme. Magpies’ Ladies will this season be sponsored by Kitchen Sense of Harleston and we thank Val and Sue Tolhurst for their generous support. This will be the last season of Division 1 before England Hockey implement their new structure for next season, which as we understand it will be a Premier Division and three leagues feeding into it, probably covering the South East, South West and the North. Eight of the Division 1 teams will definitely be in these Regional leagues next season.
For our opening league game of the season we are pleased to welcome Sunderland who had a very impressive season last year finishing fourth – one place and six points ahead of Magpies. We are also pleased to welcome umpires Jane Binner and Richard Pearce as well as Brian Perks as TD.
The summer has seen dramatic changes to the Magpies’ Ladies squad with the loss of eight players from last season due to changing clubs, going to university, a pregnancy (congratulations to Charlotte Harrison) and several retirements. Magpies will be leaning heavily on four very experienced players namely Louisa Greenacre (captain), Lucy Hayman (vice-captain), Debbie McAllen and Angie Wheelhouse as the Club starts the task of rebuilding the team by promoting players from the second team as well as blooding a number of very young players. This process started with tough pre-season matches against Sutton Coldfield, Poynton, Cannock, Nottingham Highfields, Old Loughtonians and Sevenoaks. If Magpies are going to have a season of considerable transition this is the season to do it, because of the restructuring of the League.
The Magpies squad will see six players making their national league debuts whilst six of the younger players played in the U18 national finals at Birmingham last May finishing third. It will be good to see Laura Parker back in the team after she missed most of last season through injury.
– Nick McAllen.
The Men’s 1sts, again kindly sponsored by Durrants, are a little over a week away from their first league encounter with an away trip to newly promoted Wapping – a game which offers us the chance of making a good start to the season.
The pre-season programme has gone very well except for injuries. Training started on the first of August for the two top elevens and attendances have been good and the sides will go into the league fitter than ever before. This year an extensive series of friendlies were arranged with visits to Doncaster for a mini tournament; to West Hampstead and Olton and West Warwick. With cup games against West Herts and Old Loughtonians a satnav is an essential part of kit these days.
On the playing front the first team has lost the services of Colin Wheelhouse, James Waters and Toby Tibbenham but has been bolstered by new recruit James Fanger and the return to the club of Andy Bedwell and, of course, Richard Gill who has transferred from national league side Doncaster. With a more experienced Carl Sitch and Chris Barber coming through the ranks the squad is stronger than last season and all are hopeful that we can go one better than second place in the last two seasons.
Meantime the Club’s coaching initiative has started well with Les Howlett coaching the firsts, Rob Wagstaff and Philip Cobbald the seconds and the development eleven benefiting from the influence of Stuart Peters and Bob Skinner. The boys’ junior sides are being coached by Les Howlett and Leigh Sitch with Matt Brand taking the Club session on Monday nights. Our coaching set up is now the envy of many national league sides and will result in improved results throughout.
The only blot on the pre-season is a serious injury to David Ling with minor injuries to Stuart Leate and Tristan Baynes. We wish them well.
– Robert Stimpson.
I am delighted to report that the clubhouse balcony is nearing completion (and it looks splendid!) and the disabled toilet (which will be available for general use) has been completed. A final decision on the positioning of the stairlift will be taken when the side stairs are in place. My thanks to the following members for their recent grounds/clubhouse work at Weybread – Richard Allcock, David Cobbald, Phil Cobbald, Robin Hayward, Andrew Longe and Tony Williams.
The developments at the club this summer have cost a lot of money and I remind members that as reported at the AGM we still have loans of £94000 to repay. I haven’t mentioned it of late but the fund raising campaign is still running for members who wish to help the Club. Please let me know if you would like more details. I’ll be very pleased to talk to you!
SOCIAL AND FUND RAISING ACTIVITIES 2007-2008
Please put the dates in your diaries! More details will be issued in due course.
Saturday 6 October Family Quiz Evening (7.00pm)
Friday 2 November Fireworks Spectacular (gates open 6.30pm)
Saturday 24 November “Cocktail” Evening
Saturday 29 December Fancy Dress Inter-Club Mixed Hockey
Saturday 2 February Social Evening
Saturday 1 March Race Night
Saturday 12 April Silent Auction and Spring Prize Draw
Saturday 3 May End of Season Bash
Sat/Sun/Mon 3/4/5 May Magpies Tournament
Summer Five evenings of mixed hockey
Sunday 22 June Strawberry Luncheon
Saturday 5 or 12 July Summer Ball
Thursday 14 August Golf Day (Bungay GC)
With kind regards and best wishes to all members, supporters and friends of the Club.
Mike Denham (Chairman)
Tel: 01603 506925
20 September 2007