Founded in 1935, Harleston Magpies is one of the biggest hockey clubs in the Eastern Counties, providing competitive and social hockey for players of all ages and abilities. Throughout the country more than 10,000 new players have picked up a hockey stick since the Great Britain Women won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympics and as a club we pride ourselves on having those who haven’t played since school, as well as ex internationals, among our members.
Last season saw both Men’s and Ladies’ 2nd teams secure promotion and our Girls’ development side, for girls up to the age of thirteen, have another very promising season. Out of 15 teams fielded every weekend only one was relegated and the Men’s 3rds will be aiming for a quick return to the East Division 2N.
Dropping too many points away from home contributed to both 1st teams finishing fifth in their leagues. The Ladies, sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents, will begin their twentieth successive National League East Conference campaign away at Bedford on the 29th September whilst the Men, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, host Wapping on the 22nd September.
With the restructure of the national leagues from season 2019-20 both 1st teams have an extra incentive to do well in the months ahead. 6th place or better for the Ladies would see them promoted to the new Division 1 South while 4th place or better for the Men in East Premier ‘A’ would see them promoted to the East Conference.
The 2017/18 season demonstrated the strength of the Magpies Youth sides, with both U18 cup sides getting to the Semi Finals and the U12 Girls, U14 Boys and U14 Girls teams making it to the National Finals. The Club also entered teams into the Mixed, Women’s O35s, Men’s O40s and Men’s O50s National Cup competitions with the Women’s O35s narrowly losing the final to Canterbury on penalty shuffles at the Olympic Park in London.
A number of Magpies players were selected to represent their country in recent weeks with Georgie Cantrell (U16), Archie Winter (U18) and Rose Winter (U18) flying the flag for the youth section; and Tristan Baynes (O40s), Kath Johnson (O50s), Phil Cobbald (O55s), Murray Graham (Scotland O55s), Judith Masters (England LX) and Shirley McAllen (O65s) playing at the Masters World Cup in Spain this summer.
In addition to fielding thirteen senior and two development teams each Saturday, and entering squads in National Cup competitions, the Magpies U10 and U12 members will gain valuable experience in a number of tournaments throughout the 2018/19 season to develop the skills and confidence which they will carry into the adult leagues when they turn 13. Options will also be provided for club members to gain coaching and umpiring qualifications and become better acquainted with other players via the packed social events diary.
Whatever your age and experience you will be made very welcome at Magpies Hockey Club. Weekly training sessions with qualified coaches are available to all players aged 8 and over, details of which can be found at www.magpies-hockey.co.uk. Alternatively, see the fixture list below or keep an eye on Magpies’ social media and come down to The Nest at Weybread to witness a high calibre, fast tempo sport just a mile from Harleston Town Centre