Chris’ Corner – ‘Grab the ball if it pops loose from the scrum!’

Chris Glover delivers some wise words. Photo c/o Phil Kielthy

I would like to warmly welcome everyone to Nottingham Hockey Centre for Saturday’s England Hockey Investec Conference North fixture between Beeston and Wakefield.

With only five fixtures to go in the regular league season, we are now reaching squeaky bum time, and every match has that bit of added importance to the teams involved as they try to fulfil their aims for the season. Our form this season has been exceptionally good, and with 10 victories and just one defeat from our 13 games so far we can be pleased with our efforts. In any normal season this would see us leading the way at the top of the table, but full credit must be given to Brooklands Poynton who continue to steal a march on everyone with their near faultless record. We know that things are out of our hands in terms of leapfrogging the Manchester based side, but our job is to take every game as it comes and then hope to grab the ball if it pops loose from the scrum to quote Boris Johnson.

Our side this week contains just one change from the team who comprehensively defeated Durham University last week. Nina Apoola, who made a real impact on her 1st XI debut last Saturday is unfortunately unavailable this week, and so she has been replaced by Maddy Wray who I know will be keen to take the chance to impress as Nina did last week. We will need to continue to score goals from across the park and it has been nice to see Rosy Stephens hit some form with four goals in her last two outings.

I was very pleased to see our U18 team move to the semi finals of the England Hockey U18 Cup last weekend with an impressive 7-1 victory over Harleston Magpies. Our U16 team have also progressed to the later stages of the U16 Championship. We are very lucky to have a plethora of talented juniors and I wish those competing the National Schools finals next week all the best as they head to Lee Valley.

We would like to welcome our friends from Wakefield who I know will provide a competitive and stern test for our young team today. After winning the league last year, Wakefield have not quite hit those same heights this season but they still have a number of experienced players and talented youngsters who can cause problems for any side in the Conference. If you study the form book, they are the side on the best run of results behind ourselves and Brooklands and are currently unbeaten in four matches. We will need to be at our best today if we are to end that run. Wakefield always offer excellent hospitality and I hope that we can reciprocate the warm welcome that we always receive when we travel up the M1.

Can I warmly welcome the match officials, umpires David Eldridge and Andy Lord along with match delegate Steve Hoban. We would also like to say a huge thank you to our match sponsors Enterprise Property Group. I hope you enjoy the game and we are able to celebrate another Beeston victory.

Come on you Bees!

Chris Glover

Ladies 1st XI Manager

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