Spalding Hockey Club reflect on their East League campaign despite early ending due to coronavirus outbreak
Officials at Spalding Hockey Club have hailed a season of progress despite the premature end to their East League campaign.
England Hockey, along with other sports governing bodies across the country, decided last week that all games should cease with immediate effect in an effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The club is in full agreement with the East Region Hockey Leagues management decision to suspend the leagues for this season.
Although hugely disappointed at having their season curtailed for more than 100 senior players across their eight teams, the campaign has produced plenty of positives.
A club statement reflecting on their campaign said: “This season has been designated by the Spalding club as a development season and the senior committee has been delighted with the progress made by both senior and junior teams throughout the year.
“The club is particularly proud that more than 50 teenagers have played regularly across the eight league teams throughout the season and that the vast majority of these players have come through the youth development programme.
“The premature end to the season is a huge disappointment for the club’s youth teams that have performed brilliantly in their respective divisions in the national England Hockey competitions.
“The Under 16 girls have won all five of their games against Market Harborough, Bourne/Deeping and Kettering, scoring 27 times while conceding just the one goal.
“The Under 14 boys headed their table at the break in a division including Bury St Edmunds, Lindum, Norwich, City of Peterborough and Bedford.
“Both teams were looking forward to progressing in the competitions and testing their skills at the regional levels.
“The club’s latest initiative aimed at progressing their considerable young talent was to join up with former England player Matt Taylor and his coaching team in a series of one day intensive coaching sessions.
“The first session held in February was attended by around 40 youngsters which was brilliant but sadly the April session has been cancelled with future dates in the balance.
“The popular Spalding primary schools hockey tournament, scheduled last month, and all of the club’s Saturday morning junior programme planned for the coming weeks, have all been cancelled due to the virus.
“The club’s walking hockey group, who were working on plans to celebrate their first anniversary in April, are devastated by the enforced closure and can’t wait to get back into action.
“The club’s social side has also suffered with the annual dinner and the season’s awards nights having to be cancelled. Hopefully normal service will be resume soon.”