Photo c/o Andy Smith – Paige Gillott set to make her national league tonight
Programme notes from Beeston 1st XI Ladies Manager, Chris Glover
It is a real pleasure to welcome you down to Nottingham Hockey Centre today for our first ever Whirlowdale Friday Night Hockey fixture (Friday 23rd September – 7:30pm: Beeston v Belper).
Tonight’s event is one that has been months in the planning and I am very grateful for the support from our opposition today, Belper in helping to get this idea off the ground.
Our aim from the start was quite simple…to raise the profile of women’s sport, and in particular the fantastic women’s hockey teams we have locally. Since we initiated the plan, the success of our female Olympians has only heightened the excitement and interest around hockey and I am really hoping that we might have a few people down watching tonight for whom this is their first National League game.
Last weekend saw us get off to a good start, beating last year’s West Conference Champions Sutton Coldfield. While Sutton have seen one or two changes from last year, they are still a serious contender for the title so it was pleasing to get the three points. Following the Investec Cup win over Bedford, we have been given the chance for a quick return fixture at Sutton in round two, something that will be another stiff challenge.
Today’s opponents Belper were somewhat a thorn in our side last year, allowing us just one point from our two games. On neither occasion did we play our best hockey, but that is the stamp of a Belper team, they rarely let you do. I expect tonight to be no exception, and we will have to be at our best to get the three points against at well organised opposition. It is always a pleasure to welcome Belper though, and they are very engaging off the pitch, so I hope you enjoy tonight’s experience under the lights!
Tonight we welcome Paige Gillott for her National League debut. Paige is another to have come through our junior system and she has developed hugely over the last twelve months. Her crucial equaliser last Sunday showed her lack of fear and I look forward to seeing her make a big impression tonight.
Finally I would like to thank our Friday Night Hockey sponsors Whirlowdale, our match sponsors One Health Group and also welcome our officials, umpires Eric Dickinson and Gemma Jones, and delegates Steve Hoban and Andy Barnes.
Come on you Bees!