So there 2019/20 season has come to a close albeit due to unexpected circumstances, and this was possibly one the men’s sections most challenging seasons to date. However there were plenty of good things to come from this tough season, with many junior players stepping up and showing what they can do – from making the grade in the 1st XI or playing and experiencing their first senior game of hockey.
Below are some snippets and thoughts from a couple of the captains on their season:
With a young team this year Haslemere Men’s 1’s approached the new season with both excitement and cautious optimism. After a tough start they finally started to find their feet in a really competitive and tight league. Once Grant Roberts stepped up in taking charge of the team we became a lot more organised and started to play some brilliant team hockey.
This was shown in the final standing in the league. A 5th place finish with more wins than losses and a positive goal difference.
With a new Men’s Coach coming into the club next season there is more reason to be excited and hopefully we can move onto bigger and better things.
A special mention must go out to our superb keeper Jake who has been our saviour on more than one occasion this season and to all the young guys (Cam, Tim, Harry & Johnny, Jonno, Alfie) that have come in over the course of the year and done a fantastic job in playing some excellent hockey!
Finally we would like to thank Grant for being such a big help this season. He was the main reason we played the way we did and enjoyed it as much as we did!
The Mens 2s continue to be one of the most entertaining teams in the club, with 61 goals scored and 63 conceded, any spectator knew that a trip to watch the twos was going to be filled with goals, excitement and a real sense of jeopardy right until the final whistle. How many other teams can boast multiple 5-5 draws as well as last minute winners and a number of stunning comebacks (often by our opposition) in a single season. The 2’s attractive style of play caused real issues for some of the top teams in the league this year, while also proving too much for the lesser teams leaving us finishing this shortened season in a very respectable 4th.
The 2nd XI have always focused on youth development and were proud to see 5 under 18s go on to secure spots in the 1st team following development in the 2’s. Standout performances from juniors included James Holt – who produced some stunning saves and bailed out our back-line after a misplaced pass on many an occasion, John Canning – a formidable “Goal Scoring” Full Back and Harry Stokes – who has gone on to secure a place in the 1st XI.
In all, the season has been a great one filled with goals, excitement and good times.
The 4th XI began the year with high hopes having survived in division 4 the year before and with some of the stronger teams from 2018/19 disappearing and weaker teams coming in, we felt that a mid table finish would represent progress.
Sadly this was not to be….. despite a strengthened team with 4th team debutants Charlie Loveday and James Skan the 4th XI struggled with availability all year veering from 15 players one week to 8 players the next. At the same time we came across some superb teams, very experienced, very well drilled and certainly a cut a above Haslemere 4’s. It is therefore little wonder that we lost nearly every game and shipped nearly 100 goals in the season.
Injuries and a paternity leave also played their part, with at least 4 players out for sustained periods with lengthy injuries and sadly the club itself did not have the reserves of playing staff around to help us. We ended up cancelling two games at short notice which is something that as a captain was the most disappointing thing I have ever had to do….twice.
We did however end the season on a high note.. we nicked a draw at Romsey in a highly entertaining 2-2 and then finished 6-3 winners against Bournemouth. Coupled with another win against Yateley earlier in the year, the 4’s did finish the season in positive points but only just.
As ever our stand out performers include Ben Collyer’s many goals from relatively few appearances. Chris Hatter being ever dependable at the back, Christian Hobbs finding a spot up front and the confidence with which Charlie Loveday grew over the season.
Despite losing way too often, the team spirit was good and the banter remained excellent. If we didn’t have each other the way we do.. at HHC then it wouldn’t have been as fun as it was… we are now ready for next year.
The men’s 5s had a thoroughly enjoyable season , playing a brand of open attacking hockey that at times was a pleasure to watch and be a part of . The ethos of the 5s has been to facilitate a first taste of senior hockey to the juniors who are ready for the step up
Great credit must go to Rob and Neil for behind the scenes coaching , and to the adults who have been supportive , open and accommodating. The juniors have without exception taken adult hockey in their stride and we wish them well as they move on through the club.
The clear overriding message I see from these is that we have a fantastic and strong junior section, so all credit to every coach who has helped us get to this point. What it also shows is that the men’s section is now heavily reliant on these players to ensure we can fulfill fixtures throughout the season, which also becomes a real struggle and frustration for captains and players.
From this I ask that for next season all players use Teamo to its full ability, so that captains and myself can plan ahead and see where there might be problematic weekends. Can I also ask for everyone to act as ambassadors for the club and try to recruit new members for the 2020/21 season, the new guys who came in did exceptionally well and I hope they thoroughly enjoyed their hockey and can now recommend the club.
I hope everyone is staying safe and well, while also getting fit for next season! Let’s all come back with more enthusiasm and support for the club #backstronger