HOCKEY: Youngsters having a ball with their new machine

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A training camp for youngsters run by a former England international inspired Spalding Hockey Club to fundraise for a special £2,000 machine to develop techincal skills.

Ex-international Matt Taylor ran a kids’ summer camp at the club’s base in Glen Park, Surfleet.

During the intensive two-day course, Matt used a ball machine for many of his exercises.

The machine, aimed at developing technical skills, is extremely versatile and can be set to provide an accurate supply of hockey balls at speeds between 30 and 85mph.

Not only is it invaluable in developing skills but the young players found it great fun to use.

The machine, which will also be used by the club’s seniors, was purchased after generous ‘designated budget’ contributions from South Holland District Councillors Elizabeth Sneath, Sally-Ann Slade and James Avery, a donation from Rhoman Food Technology Sevices Ltd and various fundraising activities.

n Two of the club’s teams are through to the last 16 of national competitions.

The club’s girls U18 team will host Derbyshire-based Belper in the second round of the England Hockey Plate on Sunday, January 26, after beating Norwich City.

The men’s firsts, having beaten Norwich Dragons 4-0 and Coalville 6-1, travel to Derbyshire on Sunday, February 9 to play Ramgarhia in round three of the National Vase.