This week I sat down with M1 player Charles Hamilton to talk about his season on the pitch, what it’s been like playing with Kwan and his thoughts on playing in the premier division next season.

Canterbury v Southgate – MHL Division 1 South at Polo Farm, Canterbury, Kent, UK on 08 October 2022.
Photo by Simon Parker/SP Action Images

Charles thanks for talking to us and congratulations on winning the league- we are all delighted for the team. Can I start off by asking as we approach the end of the season how have you found playing in the M1 this year?

Playing in the M1s this season has been a great experience and worlds apart from where we finished the end of last season. Kwan, Huw and the new additions have been great at creating a positive team culture that everyone has bought into which has been key to our successful season on pitch

What would you say have been the highlights for you?

Winning the league was amazing last weekend! More generally, as a forward you want to be scoring goals so hitting double figures has been enjoyable. Seeing the work we do in training pay off, counter attacks against Bristol and Oxford hawks stand out. Finally watching Teague pull out some outrageous finishes has been pretty incredible.

What’s it like playing under Kwan? And what would you say are the key changes he has implemented within the squad?

It’s full on! Kwan knows everything there is to know about hockey, he leaves no stone unturned and makes sure we are fully prepared for every scenario. Learning from himself and Huw has been invaluable.

Hard to pin it on one change as he has transformed every aspect of the team on and off the pitch but I think a big one is the standards he has got us demanding from each other.

Southgate v Teddington – MHL Division 1 South at Southgate Hockey Centre, Trent Park, London, UK on 01 October 2022.
Photo by Simon Parker/SP Action Images

There are just two games left, with the league won has the approach to the games changed?

Not so much a change in approach, obviously the pressure has been relieved but both Sevenoaks and Old Cranleighans gave us competitive games first time round with Sevenoaks even leading till the final quarter. So we will be looking to make our mark on both teams and make sure we get all remaining points available. We have started looking at a few new ideas in preparation for the prem next season so I’m sure we will be giving them a trial during these last 2 games. 

Looking ahead to next season what are you looking forward to with the team playing in the Premier Division?

We are all looking forward to testing ourselves against the best teams and players in the country. We have always had competitive games against prem teams in pre season so we are definitely looking to build on this and the momentum coming off the back of this season. It’ll also be nice to play new teams/clubs as lots of us have played the same teams in Div 1 for a while now.

You’ve been one of our top goal scorer this year and played in every game, What ambitions do you have for yourself over the next few years?

Continue to develop my overall game and score some goals in the prem! But in the short term finish this season on more goals then Drew (he’s currently one ahead)

Finally there’s a well earned rest for you after next weekend how are planning on filling the time before pre season starts?

Nothing exciting I’m afraid, I have got exams coming up so will be cramming a years worth of uni lectures into the next couple of weeks and will no doubt probably end up on one of Alastair’s famous hockey tours!

Southgate v Teddington – MHL Division 1 South at Southgate Hockey Centre, Trent Park, London, UK on 01 October 2022.
Photo by Simon Parker/SP Action Images