BOYS’ HOCKEY FIRST TEAM REPORT
Training started in February this year for the long season that awaited the team. From the start there was good commitment as both senior and junior players made a good effort to get fit and ready.
After a couple of hard trial matches, the squad was announced, leaving some senior boys disappointed. The squad itself was by far the most inexperienced squad in the last five years with no fewer than 7 juniors gracing the starting line up for the team’s first game. What I did not realise at the time was that it was exactly what the team needed and it was the catalyst for a wonderful season ahead.
The unofficial start to the season is a trip to George for the York Hockey Festival, where the team played against some talented hockey schools such as Edgemead and Pinelands. Right from the start the disciplined, enthusiastic approach of the boys paid dividend as the team began to gel as a unit, winning 4 matches, drawing 1 and losing 1. The highlight for me as coach was the spirit the team developed and which was to be seen in the team’s final match on tour against the talented Pinelands outfit. V.P. literally walked off one field onto another field to face up to their more favoured opponents. Instead of dropping their heads they fought so hard and were leading 2-0 at half time. Unfortunately as the second half wore on the legs began to give and Pinelands just managed to draw. However, as the final whistle blew the boys knew they had done something special and by playing for each other they had become a team that believed in their ability to play great hockey against the best, and this was to hold them in good stead for the domestic season.
For the rest of the season the team on the whole either matched or dominated the rivals. Big victories were achieved against Alex (5-0) and against Pearson (7-1). The derby against Westering pitted two very good teams against one another and the 1-1 end result was a fair result on the day. Other good results were the first win against Kingswood in the last four years (3-0), dominating St. Andrews College only to have to settle for a draw after a dubious goal was awarded and, of course, holding their own completely against an unbeaten Grey High School first team.
There was also some fun hockey played against 2 old boys teams and a team made up of old EP and SA players, all which were thoroughly enjoyed and in truth grew the team as youth can always learn from the more experienced.
This was also a bumper year for our boys at inter-provincial and national level and congratulations must go to:
Kyle Timms – EP u/18
Damian Kimfley – EP u/18 captain and SA u/18
Winchester Scott – EP u/16 and SA u/16
You boys have made us very proud by your achievements.
A statistical summary shows that the team played 18 matches, of which they won 11, drew 3 and lost 4. This is an exceptional return for a team that was considered very inexperienced. More importantly for me, this team learned that when you give your best both on the training ground as well as for each other on match day, that hockey is the best game in the world and memories can be made that will last for a life time.
A big thank you must go to Danial Jackman whose positive calm and yet technical approach to coaching played an important role in the top class hockey played by the team. The team was also very well led by Kyle Timms and Damian Kimfley and the respect they gave, as well as received, will be invaluable to them as they further their hockey careers. To the senior boys you were excellent this season, and to the juniors lets carry the wave of momentum that was achieved into next season.
Lastly, thank you to all those who supported the team this year, I am very proud to say that this years team did not disappoint.