By Kim Bishop-Laggett
Following such a successful season for the club in 2022/23, it is no surprise that Southgate has become a club of great interest to many and an exciting place to be and play hockey.
It follows therefore, that we have had a huge influx of players this year which is fantastic for the Women’s section and the Club more widely. Importantly these players range across all abilities; we welcome elite players, players picking up their sticks after a while away from the pitch, players new to the area, returning Southgate Alumni as well as some transferring in from other clubs. Alongside this we have a healthy cohort of juniors joining our ranks. This influx of players will benefit all our teams.
We also have a fantastic, talented, and experienced coaching team; Andy and Lucca return as W1 and W3 coaches respectively, supported by Chris both as W1 Assistant Coach and in his role as Director of Hockey. The hugely experienced duo of Paul and Anton will work with our GKs and we welcome Ronan Casella to our coaching team as W2 coach. Ronan has made a great start with the team and has slotted into the coaching group with ease.
Mim Sherlock has joined the Women’s leadership group as Co-Chair of Selectors bringing a wealth of experience to our team of coaches, captains, and selectors.
Against this backdrop of a thriving section, we have taken the exciting step of entering a W6 team in Div 6 East of the London League. As fate would have it, Bank of England 1s have withdrawn and so we will take over their fixtures. This demonstrates or intent for the future and will enable much more opportunity for pitch time and flexibility in the lower teams. We welcome your support in this important development. Availability is key to making this a success so please make yourselves regularly available.
With so many players, it has been a busy start to the season for our coaches, selectors, and volunteers, it is now starting to settle down and we are well prepared for the start of our respective league campaigns.
Our pre-season has gone very well, our coaches have planned and executed a busy schedule of training and matches for our performance teams that started back in July.
This is an exciting time to be at Southgate, our W1 will be playing in NL Div 1 South for the very first time and it will be a proud moment for all of us when they step out for their first game at home against Holcombe on Saturday. This is the highest level of hockey the Southgate Women have ever played. There are some new faces amongst the squad, and we can’t wait to see what this team of exciting players, led by Ellie Robinson, can achieve.
Ronan will take our W2s down to Chiswick on Saturday for their 1st League game. With such depth now in our performance group this team has a real chance of promotion into East Conference.
Our W3s heard the news of their well-deserved promotion to London Div 1 only recently. This puts the team within touching distance of the London Premier league. Their placing last year shows that this team have to potential to do very well in this league.
Our W4s compete in Div 3 North and it is fair to say this was a tough gig last season. However, this season looks much brighter with some new faces and energised leadership, this group will be looking for a well-placed finish.
Likewise, for the W5s in Div 4 North-West. This team will benefit this year from more consistency and from having a season’s experience at this level under their belts. This is always a fun team to play in but do not be fooled, they want to win.
So, with the addition of our W6s this promises to be a very exciting season.
Bring it on!