Due to the wintery weather last weekend all matches were cancelled, providing a free day for players to get their Christmas shopping done. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Ladies 2s travel to Newmarket for the rearranged fixture, whilst the Men’s 1sts head to Saffron Waldon for their last league game of 2017. The Men’s 2nd XI have the weekend off whereas the remaining men’s teams (3rds, 4ths, 5ths and 6ths) all have home games, so, weather permitting, there will be plenty happening at the Nest.
Harleston Magpies boast six senior men’s teams, enabling the provision of competitive hockey for all abilities. Up until the age of 13, the only match practice available comes in the form of ‘Mini’s’ Tournaments which are played on half sized pitches with 7 players aside and a simplification of the rules.
The Boys and Girls Development Teams present the opportunity for younger players to gain valuable experience on a full sized pitch in a positive environment against opposition their own age. Magpies boys are currently placed second in the Norfolk league at the halfway stage, with games in hand. Many of the team are playing in the England Hockey Championships boys U14’s team, who are currently topping their league table having won all 3 of their games so far. Development boys ages range from 11 to 15 and play their games on Saturdays across Norfolk. Team Manager Mark Emms said “we try to involve as many boys as possible during the season, our aim being to give players confidence as they have fun moving from 7 aside minis though to full pitch age representative and mens hockey teams”.
Magpies Girls Development team play in the Empresa Norfolk Women’s League and have had a fantastic first half of the season, currently sitting second in the table behind Norwich City Girls. There are many girls who would be more than capable of entering the senior ladies teams once they turn 13, and plenty of young players waiting to enter the development squad. This demonstrates the strength of the Magpies Youth section and quality of coaching the girls receive. It bodes extremely well for the future of the club.
Magpies Ladies 1sts have completed the first half of their outdoor season and will now focus on training for their Indoor tournaments which commence early January. The Girls U16 and U18 teams play in the East Indoor Championships this weekend at Aldenham School and Oaklands College in St Albans.