MIKE’S MUSINGS – 14 September 2010

After last weekend’s fourteen friendly matches (7 won, 4 drawn and 3 lost) the season takes a big step forward this coming weekend with six of our teams in league action for the first time while the other nine have their final friendlies in preparation for their turn on the starting line on Saturday week.
The six league games this weekend include the young Ladies’ 1sts who kick off their twelfth successive national league campaign (in this spell) away to Chelmsford on Saturday (12.00) under new coach Leigh Sitch after a promising build-up. A big challenge for the squad will be compensating for the loss of three players – namely Angie Wheelhouse, Cherry Seaborn and Artemis Clark – who contributed 25 of their 33 goals last season. I will say more about these members and the other losses to the squad in due course. Meantime the Ladies’ 2nds are away to Ipswich 3rds (2.00) encouraged by their 5-2 win last Saturday over Watton and the Ladies’ 6ths entertain Thetford 2nds (12.30).
Also on Saturday the Girls’ Development start their fourth league campaign (the previous three saw Magpies finish as champions) at Dereham (11.15) while the brand new Boys’ Development League gets underway with our team managed by Stuart Peters taking on Dereham at Weybread (10.30). The benefits of the Girls’ Dev League is clear when one sees the progress made by many of our players who have moved up to higher teams since the formation of the league.
Our final league team in action this weekend is the Men’s 1sts who after some good pre-season results entertain Southgate on Sunday (2.15). Southgate did the double over us last season so some friendly revenge would not go amiss as the squad embarks on their second season back in the national league under new chief coach Bill Williams. As a curtain raiser to the 2.15 game the Men’s Vets play Southgate (11.30) building on the good relationship built up between the two teams in the Southgate Masters (the new description of Vets hockey) Tournament won by Magpies during the summer. The bar opens at 12 noon. Please come along to cheer our teams to victory!
Good luck to all our teams in action this weekend. For a full list please see the club’s website
News and comments in brief:
· Congratulations to chief coach Danny Kerry and his England squad on their splendid bronze medal in the Women’s World Cup in Argentina.
· Hannah Macleod who scored for England in the semi-final against Holland won the Chris Loveday Award in 2001-2 for her outstanding contribution to Schools and Youth Hockey in the East while at Bedford HC.
· In this season’s Men’s East Conference St Albans and Wimbledon join as champions of the East and South respectively and Wimbledon in particular are likely to pose a big threat to Magpies as in addition to ex-England and GB player Ben Marsden (as player/coach) they have signed current England and GB internationals Ben Hawes and Rob Moore!
· Meantime in the Women’s Conference East Surbiton and Dereham (only the second national league club ever in Norfolk) are welcomed as South and East champions respectively at the expense of bottom placed Northampton and Southgate who did not survive last season’s play-offs.
· Members are asked not to practice in the end goals on the two pitches. Please use the side goals to minimise wear and tear on the main circles.
For your social diary please:
· Curry-Oke Night (Saturday 2 October, 7.30pm) – tickets on sale at the clubhouse bar. If you buy in advance it helps to encourage the organisers both in morale and with the catering!
· Fireworks Evening – Friday 5 November (yes – really, this year!)
With kind regards and best wishes  
Mike Denham 01603 506925 
MDenham975@aol.com 14/9/10