Jon was last years player of the season and is the M5’s goalkeeper, although you are just as likely to find him keeping for teams up and down the club from the Tankards to the 4’s and many in between. Here Jon tells us about his hockey career as well his business and how he has adapted through lockdown.
Jon we start with a reminder of what led you to becoming a member at Southgate?
I became a member at Southgate as I used to play hockey for the Army, a few years ago I had a mild heart attack, so to get back into health i joined ‘back to hockey’.
You were in a team called The Pitchers to begin with- I believe playing as outfield player- what led you into goal?
This led into the ‘pitchers’ being formed in which I played as a centre back until our goalie got injured and no one stepped up to be in goal so I ‘volunteered’. Didn’t concede a goal for the next five games and have been in goal pretty much ever since.
You are now a senior (and very vocal) player for ’The Mighty 5’s’. Watching (and playing against) you it strikes me there is a great and unique atmosphere within the team, Can you tell us a bit more about the team and some of your key players
Not too sure if i can say to much about individual players as this is a family newsletter!! However as a team, win or lose, all the them are a great bunch and i wish for a better set of team mates and that even includes Rory Wilmott!!!
You have probably played in more SHC teams than almost anyone else- probably within the same season- how have you found stepping into teams often at late notice- what are the challenges that presents you as the Goalie.
Playing in goal for different teams at late notice is difficult and a fairly lonely job. Especially if i can’t stay with the 5’s for a post match cider, having to rush to get the goalie kit off and drive to what always seems to be the deepest darkest part of South London in sweaty clothes get back in a sweaty goalie kit with normally minutes to spare before push back. But I hope playing for more senior teams has made me a better keeper.
What would you say are the key attributes needed to be a great goalkeeper and do you have any players/coaches that have influenced you in your hockey journey.
I think to be a fairly decent keeper you need to have eyes in the back of your head!!! Definitely no fear, good communication and a big mouth!
With regards to influences it would be Sean Kerly as he went to my grammar school, which i was at when he won gold at the olympics.
At the club it was Paul Creeley who i played with in the pitchers helped me initially when i started of in goal.
Away from the hockey field you have a busy business- can you tell us a bit more about that and how the pandemic has effected you from a business and personal point of view?
Outside of hockey I sell a haircare brand called ‘milkshake’ into hair salons with that industry closed entirely i’ve not been able to work, however i’ve used the time to diversify into other fields and am currently learning to trade stocks on the US stock exchange.
Personally lockdown has changed my life for the better after spending lockdown out of London I embraced country living and have just moved out of London to a converted barn on a working farm near Hoddesdon.
Finally it would be remiss of me not to mention your other team Spurs. How have you found the past few months as a Spurs supporter and are you excited to get back in the stadium to cheer them onto….glory?
Alastair you’ve asked me to write something about my beloved spurs but after the week they’ve just had i don’t think you be able send this newsletter out if I gave you my current thoughts on ‘it’s gone all spursy’ spurs!!