Hockey Season Review 2021-22. It was great to get back on track and complete a full season again. With so much hockey played, there were plenty of success stories, loads of goals, indoor champions and Cup winners. Congratulations to everyone for playing your part, together we’re better!
Following the restructure by England Hockey, this year saw our senior and junior teams playing in newly formed South East or London leagues. With the extent of the changes, apart from travelling to new pitches and facing unfamiliar opposition, we didn’t know quite what to expect. Inevitably there were aspects that will take time to bed in and the need for some fine tuning but generally it was a positive transition and a competitive year for all Epsom HC sides.
It was great to see the Woodcote clubhouse open once again and teams going back to socialise after games. We were delighted to welcome Nicola B and her daughter into our Epsom hockey family and the match teas they produced for us were simply delicious and praised by home and away teams alike.
As with all seasons there were ups and downs. We saw matches cancelled – either due to teams withdrawing from leagues or struggling with availability due to Covid. But I’m pleased to say individual and team achievements far outweighed the disappointments. Some of the highlights were:
- Men’s: Consistently fielding 10 Saturday league teams and a growing representation of under 18s across the 1st XI to 7th XI. The return of the Men’s Summer League at OSL following the success of its inaugural year.
- Ladies’: Our 1st XI and 2nd XI now playing in consecutive leagues (South East Premier and Division 1 respectively). Our 6th XI securing a commendable third place finish. Members of our Back to Hockey group taking the step into several Saturday fixtures for our 7th XI.
- Masters: Three of our master’s teams reaching national knockout finals – our ladies’ O35s and men’s O40s winning their Tier 2 competitions and our ladies’ O45s narrowly coming runners up in their Tier 1 competition. Multiple players being selected to represent regional and national O35s to O60s squads.
- Juniors: Welcoming new recruits Chris, Hugh and Emma who have given added depth to our coaching team. Our Boys U16s winning bronze in their indoor national tournament in December. 35 players being selected to represent county or regional squads.
- Goalies: Welcoming experienced Welsh international Rose Thomas to our coaching team. Her energy and enthusiasm was evident as she delivered specialist high-quality weekly sessions to our junior and senior goalkeepers.
- Both Walking Hockey and Back to Hockey continuing to grow from strength to strength.
As the end of the season approached, we said farewell to two club stalwarts and legends – Sarah (Wiz) and Andy (Chalky) White. Both have made a huge and immeasurable contribution on and off the pitch during their time at Epsom HC. A huge thank you on behalf of the Club for everything you have done. You will be sorely missed.
A special mention too for James Earl who leaves the Club after 8 years as Ladies 1st XI coach, Ladies’ Section Head Coach and junior coach. A huge thank you for the passion and energy you’ve invested during your time with us. You can be very proud of everything you’ve helped Club teams and individual players achieve.
We’re also sorry to be saying goodbye to Men’s 1st XI coach Jamie O’Connell but wish you all the best with your move to Yorkshire and in your new Head of Hockey role at Giggleswick School.
A significant amount of work goes on behind the scenes to make sure your Club runs smoothly and so a special note of appreciation for all our amazing volunteers – Committee Members, Captains, Umpires, Coaches, Team Managers and other helpers – who work tirelessly throughout the year.
Lastly, after four years Penny ‘Woodsie’ Woods has stepped down as Hockey Chairman. Having been a member since 1987, Epsom Hockey Club holds a very special place in her heart. Always willing and able to lend a hand and give something back, you’ll still see Woodsie around the Club. Time for her to concentrate on her hockey and be match fit for the Masters World Cup in Cape Town in October as she plays for England once again. Penny feels extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to be Chairman and proud for what she’s been able to contribute and achieve whilst in the role.
It’s now time to hand over the position to Natalia Anda who will very ably guide the Club over the next few years, starting with our Centenary 2022-23 season!
Watch the season review 2021-22
Those of you who follow us on social media will have seen a lot happening over the season. Below are the Club Award Winners but there is more! Have a watch on our YouTube page. Watch Epsom HC’s season review 2021-22 here.
New members welcome
Here at Epsom Hockey Club we welcome new members of all abilities. So, if you’re looking for a new challenge, want to join us as a player, goalie, coach, umpire, affiliate or sign up to back to hockey or walking hockey, please go ahead and get in touch with us here. Pick up a stick. We look forward to meeting you!