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Bristol & West Hockey Club

"Bristol's friendliest (and most affordable) hockey club"

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West Masters Hockey

Come and watch some Masters hockey Jun 10th & 11th  

Bristol UWE

Full details in the pdf pdficon large 

B&W Men's First Team PROMOTED!

After securing promotion I managed to catch up pitch-side with Tom Bryant, First team captain, Coach and Mastermind of a memorable campaign for a Q&A.

 

Many congratulations Tom!  For those of us who have not experienced promotion for a while, could you remind us what it feels like?

It’s very rewarding to know that all the hard work we’ve put in over the season and pre-season has paid off and as a squad we’ve been able to achieve our aim. It feels just great, I recommend it.

 

I know you wanted to finish top and it all came down to the penultimate game against Cardiff University, that must have been an exciting game?

Yes, despite us coming out on the wrong side of a 1-0 result the match was very competitive and enjoyable. The lads really put a shift against a very strong Cardiff Uni 2s side who have the facility to train multiple times a week with their Premiership 1st team.

 

The team narrowly missed out on promotion last year.  What do you think were the key differences this year that made the difference?

This year we have built on what the squad learnt from last year. We have dedicated ourselves to becoming fitter and creating more of a team spirit within our huge performance squad. Missing out on promotion last year gave us the drive and determination to commit to our matches and put 100% in right to the end!

 

There was a bit of a post-Christmas “wobble” with poor results against Ross-On-Wye and Hereford, looking back now, why do you think that happened?

There was a post-Christmas wobble which I had feared as historically this has been detrimental to our results. Luckily, we quickly addressed what we needed to change which got us back on board with our promotion campaign. There were a few weeks where commitment faded, not just within our squad, but within the rest of the club which had a significant impact on our team. A club is only as good as its first team, and the first team is only as good as its club!

 

How do you think your squad has developed this year and is there anyone you’d particularly like to mention for their contribution, or was it a true ‘team endeavour’?

It was a true team endeavour! I would like to thank everyone from the 1st team training squad for their commitment, effort and dedication – through the good times and the bad! I would also like to thank the other Captains, especially Rob Ledger, who have been as flexible and accommodating as possible to give the 1st team priority. The team would also like to thank all of our supporters and sponsors this season including Danco PLC, 4Tech Ltd, Bryant Associates, PhysioElite, Hyperstate and some very generous club members!

 

Obviously with promotion comes new challenges in a stronger league.  Have you started making plans for next year or for now are you just enjoying the accomplishment?

Our planning for next year started at the beginning of the season with Summer League, the pre-season opposition we played and our training scheme to acclimatise us as best we can to higher level hockey in preparation. For the time being we are taking some time to enjoy the moment before Summer League and our pre-season training starts again.

 

Team Photograph to follow....

Westbury 2 – 3 Bristol & West Badgers

BadgersVsWestbury1stWinIn3Years 

For 3 years we have been building the current Badgers side and for that same period we have suffered some heavy defeats against Westbury.  Sunday 14 January 2017 is therefore momentous. After a very hard fought game against a talented Westbury side, we put 3 years of hurt behind us!  Well done all, and thank you parents for your great positive support!

Chairman’s New Year Message 2017

LilyOwsley

 

A very Happy New Year to all and I hope you had a terrific Christmas!  It was certainly an amazing Club “social” end to the year with four events that were all really well supported.  The first was the Olympic Games night at the Hambrook Club organised by Tom Bryant, which was great fun.  The second was the fantastic Christmas Dinner (organised by his mum, Karen), the third was the individual team Christmas Curries (organised by our captains) and finally, there was the amazing “Winter Wonderland” ice skating and mulled wine at AD’s Private rink. I particularly enjoyed the latter and was so pleased to see so many of our juniors and their families there.

For me, perhaps one of my best Christmas presents this year, was the men’s First team being three points clear at the top of their league!  I really mean it too; for all those who work hard on the committee to keep things running and develop our club, this sort of success makes it all worthwhile. Please make the effort to support the men in the coming months towards what we so much hope will be a glittering promotion.

The ladies’ first team have also been doing well and having gained promotion last year, they are have fought their way into mid-table position at the mid-point of the season.  The second half of the season will be crucial for them.

On a not quite so positive a note, our lower 3 men’s teams are in a bit of a struggle. Everything still to fight for of course, given we are only halfway through the season.  I have to say that I have been so impressed with the spirit in those sides and how they fight doggedly in every game.  To my mind, this type of situation is the real test of a “club player”.  Losing games and being in a team that may not be playing hockey as well as you would like is not at all easy, in fact at times it’s wretched and frustrating!  However, sticking with it and putting your team and club before individual aspirations is the ultimate test of unselfishness and sporting character.  To quote the great American Football player Vince Lombardy;

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

I'd also just like to briefly mention our Badgers (mixed U16) side - who started  2017 with a thrilling 5 - 4 win against a well matched Somerset Griffons side. A great sporting game; a credit  to both sides and their coaches.

On the committee front, there is plenty to be getting on with in 2017.  Towards the end of last year I was in discussions with several members of the ladies’ team concerning club ethics and those discussions have been very fruitful.  One of the outcomes had been introducing some control of our members’ social media output.  In addition, Claire Smith is working on a written Club ethics statement and I hope that Miriam (Mims) will be assisting with us converting our Club’s First accreditation to the new Sport England “Club MarK” by working with our welfare Officer, Al Kilfoil.

Finally, you will no doubt realise that the lady next to me in the photo above is Lily Owsley MBE, complete with gold medal!  This was taken on Boxing day at circuit training on the Downs (Carol Vordeman was there too – but that’s Clifton for you! ).  All I can say is that Lily is gracious and lovely (as is her sister Emily who plays for Firebrands).

 

Training Dates

The last men’s games before Christmas are on Saturday 10th Dec.

The last ladies game is Saturday 3rd Dec.

The last Badgers game is Sunday 4th Dec.

The last training is Monday 12th Dec for the juniors and Wednesday/ Thursday 7th/8th Dec for the Adults.

Training resumes on Monday 9th Jan for the juniors and Wednesday/Thursday 4th/5th Jan for the Adults.

The first men’s and ladies games are Saturday 7th Jan.

The first Badgers game is Sunday 8th Jan. The first mixed game is Sunday 15th Jan.

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