David Griffiths (left), Sam Ward (middle) & Graham Griffiths (right). Photo c/o Adam Milsom, Treasurer.

Beeston Hockey Club are delighted to announce the first additions to the performance squads for the 2017/18 season.  A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to secure talent and enable both men’s and ladies’ squads to build on the successes of the recently completed season.
Great Britain Olympian and Premier League goal-machine Sam Ward returns to his natural home at the Bees after a spell at Holcombe.  On Saturday, Sam signed a 3 year contract just 30 minutes before the England Hockey Awards in Leicester which will see the club support Sam in a Beeston shirt all the way to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.  Sam joins England and GB teammates James Albery, Mark Gleghorne and Ollie Willars who have all agreed one year contract extensions.

England and Great Britain’s Mark Gleghorne (right) Photo c/o England Hockey

Mark Wadsley, an instrumental player in Beeston’s premier league title seasons, is welcomed back to the club after a year playing for Olton and West Warwickshire. Mark also joins the men’s 1st team management and coaching set up, and will work closely with the Beeston junior section.
The club’s continental talent scouts have also been busy, securing the services of German defender Marius Gemmel, Spanish international Lucas Alcalde and Belgian goalkeeper Simon Vandenbroucke. Marius joins from Schwarz-Weiß Köln having previously played for Hawks Bay in New Zealand.  Lucas was part of the Spanish team at the recent Junior World Cup in India, plays his club hockey at Pozuelo in Madrid, and arrives as an Erasmus student to study at Nottingham Trent University.  Simon joins from EuroHockey League side Waterloo Ducks where he worked alongside Belgium’s Rio silver medallist Vincent Vanasch.

Spanish International, Lucas Garcia Alcalde.

Benefitting from Beeston’s excellent links with Nottingham Trent University are long term Beeston members and England U18 players Gareth Griffiths and Lucas Ward.  They will be joined at the University by England U21 international Alex Blumfield, England U18 international Simon Claris, and Ireland U21 internationals Matthew Crookshanks and Kyle Marshall who will combine their studies with playing at the Bees. Kyle played in the 2017 EuroHockey League KO16 for Irish club Banbridge.

David Griffiths (left) seals the deal with Belgium’s Simon Vandenbroucke (right). Photo c/o Colin Clarke

On the ladies front, England U21 Internationals Esme Burge and Paige Gillott will be studying at Beeston’s other key higher education partner, The University of Nottingham, and will be spearheading next season’s challenge for promotion from the Investec North Conference.

Esme Burge on the ball for the Bees. Photo c/o David Kissman

Nikki Cochrane (Scotland and GB) joined Beeston halfway through last year’s campaign and will defend the Beeston goal for another season.

Great Britain and Scotland International, Nikki Cochrane. Photo c/o Scottish Hockey

Nottingham Trent students also feature heavily in the Ladies recruitment with Welsh U21 internationals Caro Hulme and Lottie Hulme, Scotland U18 International Tara Aitcheson, and Lisa Van Ewijk from Nijmegen in the Netherlands all joining the Bees whilst studying.
We extend a warm welcome to all of our new arrivals as well as those returning to Beeston.  This is just the start of a busy summer and further signings will be announced shortly.