MIKE’S MUSINGS – 1 September 2010

Big Weekend Ahead

This coming weekend is an important one as preparations for the new season are stepped up with the Ladies’ and Men’s Club Day at Weybread on Saturday and with the Ladies’ 1sts, now being coached by Leigh Sitch, taking on Cambridge City and Northampton in Cambridge on Saturday and with the Men’s 1sts playing at Canterbury on both Saturday and Sunday, albeit with a weakened squad due to the non-availability of several players.

Last Sunday the Men’s 1sts followed up their 3-3 draw at Olton and West Warwicks with a 6-5 home win over Cambridge City, coached by Nick Thompson the former GB and England star, leaving new coach Bill Williams, manager Robert Stimpson and the squad with plenty to work on defensively before their opening national league match at home to Southgate on Sunday 19 September (2.15). 

Saturday’s Club Day gets underway with the Ladies playing at 10.30am followed by a BBQ from 12.30pm with the Men starting at 1.30pm. If you are a male Magpie currently at university or due to go this year please come down for a game in the Magpies’ Men’s Student XI at 3.00pm (please arrive by 2.15pm). If you are interested please let James Smith know as soon as possible on either james.smith@targetfollow.com or 07780 663100 or 01379 898767. Please spread the word about this match. There will be also be a BBQ after this game.  

A friendly and familiar face will be missing from officiating for the club this season with the news that after being closely involved with hockey for 55 years and umpiring for 35 years Alan Cogdell has decided to hang up his whistle. As I said to Alan when he told me of his decision he deserves a break! In a very active hockey career Alan played in the RAF during national service and while working for Eagle Star and later Norwich Union he played for Carrow, Bury YMCA and Broxbourne where he also served as club chairman and later, for many years, as chairman of the Broxbourne Sports Club as well as serving three years as President of Hertfordshire County HA. In 2000 Alan and his wife Moira sold their insurance brokerage which they had bought in 1972 and moved back to Suffolk. In November 2001 Alan came to Weybread to watch a game and got roped into umpiring for HMHC! Thank you Alan for your much appreciated service to the Magpies and especially for the help you have given to the Men’s 4ths and best wishes to you and Moira. You will always be very welcome at Weybread and next time you come Alan don’t bring a whistle!

In the first Musings of the season I thanked everyone who had helped with the redecoration of the clubhouse (I hope you have noticed the good work!) with new curtains to follow. This week I thank members of the Ground Team for their much appreciated recent work, namely George Hunter for the cutting of the hedges and grass, David Alexander for his pitch maintenance, Jeremy Podd for his strimming of verges and banks and weed spraying and Philip and David Cobbald for their maintenance of the fences around the pitches and especially for the erection of the new netting behind the near goal on the sand-based pitch.

Our thanks are also due to all those who have organised and supported the following fund raising and social events since the end of last season with the money raised shown in brackets – Magpies Tournament (£3000), End of Season Bash (£140), Strawberry Luncheon (£700) and Golf Day (£1460). In the Men’s section of the Golf Day HMHC Vice-Presidents John and Mike Barber were members of the team coming second and the team of Peter Thornett (captain), Andy Hipwell, Andy Bedwell and Tim Bedwell finished in a highly creditable fourth place just ahead of the team representing the old Norwich Union HC winning £5 each – not quite enough to turn professional!

Next social event for your diary please – Curry-Oke Night (Saturday 2 October, 7.30pm).

Please see the blog on the website for Bob Skinner’s report of the Veterans’ Southgate triumph.

With kind regards and best wishes   Mike Denham   01603 506925    MDenham975@aol.com 1/9/10