City of Portsmouth Hockey Club state their intentions for the future.
The end part of last season and now in preparation for the new season the club has appointed 2 new coaches to take the leadership of the men’s and ladies 1st XI squads. This is coupled with the familiar face of Pete Atkins, reappointed as Director of Coaching for the club. The club are now looking to attract new players as well as encouraging former players to come back to the club.
Updated 11:21 - 18 Jul 2017 by Ed Smyth
This is a club with a rich history of success in the hockey world with both men’s and ladies teams having previously been members of the National League and with a junior section that has produced a hundred or more players of county standard and higher, right through to international players.
The men’s section is currently running 4 teams with the 1st XI playing their hockey in Hampshire League Division 1. The club are making their intentions clear in that they wish to be involved in this year’s promotion race and hope to bring new players to the club that want to build for their future.
The new men’s 1st XI coach is Chris Wimshurst. Chris took charge after the start of last season and saw some good progress and stability within the team but gearing has always been towards this coming season to really push for promotion out of this league. Chris recently returned to the club after a 10 year gap due to a career move and is keen to help take the club forward and try to rebuild some of its former glory.
Men’s 1st XI Captain, Rob Boswell, said, “Having a dedicated coach for the team makes the world of difference. Having Chris on the side of the pitch watching how things unfold means that players can concentrate on their game. I am hoping to be part of a promotion winning team this coming season and to welcome many new players to the club across all ability levels.”
Chris Wimshurst said, “This club has a fantastic history of building young players and seeing them go on to represent county, divisional and national teams, I want to see a return to that set up. We have several promising youngsters at the club coming through the youth set up and development team thanks to the hard work of a host of club members. We need to give them something to aim for as they improve.”
“We are always looking to welcome new players and returning ones alike, we’ve already seen the return of several well-known names to the club. I am a strong believer that a good 1st XI squad is built upon a good mid and lower club ethos. We could have the best 1st XI squad in the country but without club players supporting them success will be short lived. While I am involved in the coaching set up we will always be looking to build for the future and that includes building the whole club from juniors through all men’s and ladies teams.”
The club has seen the re-introduction of its own base in the last year, striking a deal with Portsmouth Cricket Club that allows use of the building through the winter months. The newly appointed men’s 2nd XI Captain, Martin King, had this to say about the new base. “I’ve played hockey for this club since I was a kid and the clubhouse has always played a strong part in the strength of the club. The deal with Portsmouth Cricket Club has allowed us to return to running club events that bring people together across the teams. I think this gives us a great opportunity to start building the club again.”
The ladies, following two successive promotions are back in Hampshire Division 1 but with their sights set at an even higher level. They have managed to tempt former men’s 1st XI coach, Alf Wimshurst, out of retirement and are again looking to strengthen their squad for the coming season.
Alf said, “I am looking forward to this new challenge – it has been 20 years since I helped guide the men’s team to the national league and I can see potential to move the ladies side in the same direction. If you are a young or returning player thinking about your playing future, you have the best chance of achieving your potential at this club.”
Ladies 1st XI Captain, Katie Spooner, said, “As a team we have come on leaps and bounds and progressed as a unit. New players are more than welcome to join our friendly, enthusiastic and energetic teams to help us push for a triple promotion year.”
Director of Coaching, Pete Atkins, said, “I am pleased to have the extra coaching support this season and I hope to be able to work with both Chris and Alf to move the club forward again.”
The club play their home games at the University of Portsmouth pitch at Furze Lane in Eastney. The club will start pre-season training from the 20th July and then each Thursday after which will see fun based fitness sessions on the playing fields next to St Johns College playing fields at Farlington. All newcomers are welcome and there is no charge for those sessions.
Stick and ball training will begin in September on Thursday evenings between 7pm and 10pm, again, newcomers are welcome and can be accommodated in the appropriate training slot. This is a the University pitch on Furze Lane.
New and returning players are invited to contact Chris Wimshurst on his email, firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to talk about playing for the men’s section.
The ladies section invite you to speak to Alf Wimshurst on his email address of email@example.com.
Junior players train at Admiral Lord Nelson School on a Saturday morning from 9am to 10.30am. New players are welcome to attend. They break for the summer holidays but will be running again from September. They have many age groups ranging from the Under 8’s (5 years and up) to under 16s for boys and girls.
The junior club can be contacted via either Alf or Chris on their emails above.
For more information visit the club website