MIKE’S MUSINGS – 20 August 2010

Here we go again!

Another season is almost upon us. Where have the past five months gone?! This is what I hope will be the first of a series of punchy, informative and, on occasions, provocative columns (similar to last season) to be issued weekly with effect from early September.

I am sorry to commence the column with the very sad news of the death due to cancer of David Vinson on 9 June at the age of 66. David, who was no stranger to HMHC, was a former England coach and was Southgate HC men’s first team coach for many years producing some of the country’s finest players. David, who played his club hockey for Pelicans, was a major figure in the coaching world and was the fourth person to be appointed as an FIH Master Coach. David was also well known for his range of DFV hockey sticks. Hockey is much the poorer for his passing.

Congratulations and best wishes to:
David Francis and Debbie McAllen on their recent marriage.
Anna and Neil Toulson on the birth of Alexis.
David Ling and Sophie Durrant on their marriage.
Skipper Simon Bardwell and the rest of the Magpies team on winning the inaugural Southgate London Masters tournament.
Nigel Bedingfield on his revamping of the club’s website which is now better than ever! Thank you Nigel.

Facilities update
The lines on the water-based pitch have been repainted and the social and kitchen areas of the clubhouse have been redecorated. The latter project was masterminded by Tony and Sue Williams and John Pestell and our thanks are also due for their assistance to Simon Bardwell and sons Ewan and Oliver, Irene Bicker, David Brook, Louisa Greenacre, Richard Larkin, Robert Stimpson and Mitchell Tompkins. We had a couple of enjoyable days trying to be useful! In addition the pump house roof has been re-felted thanks to John Pestell and his now seventy year old assistant! NB. The netting behind the near goal on the sand-based pitch will be replaced shortly.

News and comments in brief
The Lampard ‘goal’ in the FIFA World Cup would have been awarded in hockey thanks to the FIH’s enlightened adoption (unlike that of FIFA’s) of video referrals and with this encouragement England might, just might, have beaten Germany!
Steve Mayhew, the East hockey umpire, is a regular line judge at Wimbledon and he was in action during the epic 70-68 fifth set between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. 
Thousands of vuvuzelas being blown simultaneously at the World Cup may have been a pain but having been to the Women’s Champions Trophy in Nottingham I can say that listening to just three or four being blown at once is far worse!
Good luck to the England team as, boosted by their bronze medal in Nottingham, they attempt to win the Women’s BDO FIH World Cup in Rosario, Argentina starting on Sunday 29 August. In their Pool they play Spain (29/8), China (31/8), Korea (2/9), South Africa (4/9) and favourites Argentina (6/9).  

Did you know?
Last season three HMHC members did the club proud by captaining their respective Norfolk teams, namely Kira Wooltorton (U13s), Elizabeth Jones (U14s) and Sarah Brook (U15s). Well done girls!
At the national league play-offs at the end of last season Canterbury Men were promoted, Ipswich Ladies were not promoted, Indian Gymkhana Men survived and Southgate Ladies were relegated. 

The next Musings will include a social update, more about the Vet’s Southgate triumph and an appreciation of more of the ‘behind the scenes’ work being done in preparation for the new season.

Needless to say I hope you have been able to enjoy the summer.

With kind regards and best wishes

Mike Denham  01603 506925    MDenham975@aol.com   20/8/10