by Kim Bishop-Laggett
Ahead of the return to league action for the women’s teams this weekend, we wanted to share a few thoughts on the campaign ahead.
The W1s and W2s have had a very busy pre-season, getting that fitness work under their belts and coming together beneath the watchful eye of our new head coach Andy Richardson.
The teams are shaping up nicely with some Southgate debutantes as well as returners joining the squads.
Pre-season games have pushed this group hard and W1s performed well in a gruelling double-header last weekend, putting in strong performances against Barnes, now in the league above, and Slough to give them much confidence ahead of the first weekend. Meanwhile, W2s were tested by both Barnes and Broxbourne.
It’s no secret that hopes are high for our top three teams especially with our 1st XI coming so close to Division-One hockey last season.
They travel to Essex on Saturday to take on Chelmsford in an afternoon fixture and will be hoping to get the season off to a flying start.
Frustratingly, the 2s game has been pushed to a late slot on Sunday, so coach Charles and the team will have to wait an extra day to get their promotion push underway against Chiswick.
The 3s have also been busy in pre-season and coach Lucca will be keen to settle his squad and get some games underway. This team too have real promotion prospects; they faced some tough new opposition last season with the restructured leagues but will be better placed with that experience now to challenge for a top spot. There is a lot of potential in this squad and they will be an exciting team to watch.
The W4s and the W5s were both promoted last season and so you could say job done, but no, we push on. Just one division separates our W3s and W4s and we want to close that gap.
Both teams will come up against stiff competition in their respective leagues including a lot of other clubs’ 1st teams, but we aim to be competitive each time we step out on the pitch.
The 4s start their league campaign at home against Ham & West 5s and will be looking to kick off with a win. The team will be aiming for more consistency in their squad this year and will look to combine youth and experience to steer them through. This team is one with real grit and determination and they will have much to prove following last year’s league-winning performance that also saw them claim the club’s team-of-the-season award.
The 5s also line up against Ham & West but this time away. This is the team where we introduce juniors and our back-to-hockey players to the women’s game and they are proud of their diverse mix of ages and abilities. Making for some enjoyable hockey and great camaraderie, this is a lovely group to play with. The 5s always go out thinking they can win, and why not? We have no idea how we will play, or what will happen, so why should the opposition?!
There is a real buzz around the women’s section this season and we are excited to see what our teams can do – Bring it on!