2013/14 Season Round-Up from Club Captains

Men's Season Round-Up

And with that another season comes to an end.

As many of you who were at the dinner will remember (doubtful that any actually will), I mentioned that this season hasn’t been one of the best for us as a club. Mid-table mediocrity for most and a horrific discipline report to our name hasn’t made for the easiest season for me personally. In hindsight it’s important we look at the bigger picture in our development. We launched another side, taking our total Men’s number to 9, and once again proved the strength we have to go the entire season without a forced cancellation due to lack of numbers. We continued to welcome new members throughout all of the sides in what was our biggest influx in recent seasons and the social aspect throughout all teams was to be applauded, not to mention a new image on the pitch with the release of the new club kit albeit with some teething problems. Team highlights included the Men’s 1st XI reaching the Quarter Finals of the National Cup as well as getting to the Kent Cup Final (to be played in May, details below) whilst the U18 boys made it to finals day for the National Plate Finals (they did not play but details elsewhere on the site about that.)

A full round-up from each team including finishing positions, players and leading goalscorers for the season is below but before that I’d like to take a moment to thank some individuals who without their continued hard work, we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in at the moment. A huge thank you to Chopper for his continued chairmanship. Jo Read for constantly keeping on top of and running our finances - without Jo’s hard work it’s likely we wouldn’t be functioning! A big thank you to Mike Bluett for continually supporting us in pitch booking and help with almost everything throughout the club. Phil Sheehan for arranging our fixtures again and Charles Darby for his hard work both on and off the pitch. I’d like to also take a moment to thank everyone who’s turned up to umpire each and every week for most of the sides, without them we wouldn’t be able to compete and it’s made the captains jobs a lot easier. Thank you must also go to Tara for taking control of the Men’s 1st XI and stamping her authority on the guys and a big thank you to Hannah Westcar for working tirelessly to put on a great selection of social events throughout the season culminating in another brilliant end of season dinner.

A final thank you must go to all of our sponsors, supporters and fundraisers who’ve helped us function this season.

With the end of this season brings a number of changes in team captains. Sam Burt steps down as 2nd XI captain after four years in the hot seat whilst Neil Barr stepped in to take control of a young 3rd XI team for the year in difficult circumstances. Both continuously worked together along with the 1st XI to make my life as easy as possible (for the most part!) and I’m massively thankful to them for their help. Ed Tokely steps aside from the Men’s 5th XI after a considerable time at the helm, leading them to promotion and year on year improvement with a number of new players coming in under his leadership. Luke Bassett took over the Men’s 6th XI late in the season but, with the support of 7th XI skipper Geoff, built stability throughout the side and gave the juniors a great foothold into senior hockey. As it stands I’m unsure whether the Vets and Ravens will also be saying thanks to George and Bob for their time in charge of their sides but I’d like to take a moment to thank each and every one of them for their continued support for me and the club each week. It’s certainly a laborious and thankless task so be sure to take the time to buy them all a beer and say thanks for their work next time you see them.

With departures brings opportunity for others to take responsibility, the Men’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th XI captaincies are all available whilst Richard Matthews has stepped into Ed’s boots and takes charge of the 5th XI for the 2014/15 season. If any of you are interested in taking over a side or would like to know what goes into the organisation, let me know. Without volunteers it’s impossible for us to operate as a club and it’s hugely appreciated.

Player of the season & top goalscorers by team

Final team positions

Finally a big thanks to you all for rolling out each week (and sometimes twice to help fill teams.) Here’s to next season! Have a cracking summer and I’m sure I’ll see you all around the club in the meantime.

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY - Men’s 1st XI Kent Cup Final - v Sevenoaks. 18th May 2014, 3pm, Folkestone Hockey Club.

Dan Blackman
Men's Club Captain

Ladies Season Round-Up

The 2013-2014 season was a fresh start for the ladies section with some new and some old faces back in roles of responsibility within the section. Liz Hawkins stepped down as Ladies Club Captain after two very successful seasons – although her role throughout the season would continue to be one of huge value to the newly appointed club captains Sarah Jones and Sue Scott. The ladies ones welcomed back David Evans as 1st XI coach after previously taken on the role for two seasons over 4 years ago.  New captains in the 1s, 2s and 3s, Lauren Webb, Amy Preston, Tracey Pitcher and Louise Baldwin brought a new outlook to their sides as well as the trusted and ever reliable Gail Arnott and Rachel Barnett continuing their fantastic roles as captains for the 4th and 5th XI.

Pre-season was very positive for the ladies ones with some new faces joining the side, however the first game of the season did not go to plan as the girls fell to West Herts. This didn’t deter the side from ensuring results were obtained with each game thereafter. Their determination and hard work paid off with side eventually losing out on regaining their national league status by just one point. Onwards and upwards the team and whole club will be looking forward to going into next season with high expectations of regaining national league status for the ladies section. 

The 2nd XI season is always tough with four possible five teams out twelve being relegated. The 2nd teams results went in fits and spurts with periods of great play and great results against top teams followed by some unfortunate results and periods of worry for the team. Throughout the season the team maintained a mid-table position and needn’t worry as they a string of good results towards in their final matches saw them comfortably maintain their mid table position.

The 3rd XI season started with a strong squad. From the off the team played some great hockey and secured some excellent results. For much of the season they remained in the top four of the league and eventually finished in 6th place. Their strength in this league continues to grow each season along with more and more juniors being brought developed and brought through the side.

The 4th XI season was always to be a tough one. Having been promoted last season into Kent Div 1 and their competition being made up of many first and second teams from other clubs it would certainly be hard but one the team would certainly put everything into. The first couple of games did not go as planned but 2 wins in their third and fourth games got them back on track. However, throughout the season the team secured just four wins and therefore found themselves in the relegation spot with just one more match left. A win would secure survival in Div 1 but unfortunately a 1-0 loss confirmed the team’s regulation back to Kent Div 2. 

The 5th XI season started in the positive manner they had envisaged with three early wins seeing them in poll position at the top of Kent Division 5. The team maintained this position throughout the season and conceded just four matches throughout. This fantastic effort sees them move into Kent Div 4 for the 2014/15 season. As the only team in the ladies section to gain promotion the whole squad deserves a huge congratulations.

As we look forward to next season we welcome new members of all standards to join our great club, we will be looking to bring more of our juniors into all ladies sides whilst endeavouring to meet the whole of the ladies section’s needs  and providing as much social opportunities for all members as we can. Finally, whilst reading this if you are already a member of our club who does not hold any responsibility please get in touch with me to offer your services. Remember no contribution is too small.

Sarah Jones
Ladies Joint Club Captain