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President’s Chatter

I hope you have had a good summer as there was plenty of sun, sport & top class hockey (World Cup, Investec London Cup & the Commonwealth Games), to enjoy as well as the AHC summer leagues to take part in. New innovations for AHC this summer have been the Junior sessions (year 7 & below) run by Colts manager Peter Cottrell & his team on Sunday mornings in July & August, following the interest shown in the AHC stall manned by Kirsty Hull & Kate Thompson at the ‘Staines upon Thames’ Day on a Sunday in late June. In April, 4 x 1 hour England hockey (EH) ‘Back to Hockey’ sessions were run for the Ladies along with some general ‘light training’ after the tolls of the season. Numbers attending were relatively small, but steady & one new member was recruited. In addition, 2 hour, Club training sessions (skills & fitness) for both Men’s & Ladies were run on Saturday mornings by new joint Men’s first coach Paddy Fisher in August. However, probably the main news of the summer has been the belated promotion of the Men’s 1’s to the South Premier League, Division 2. Although they lost heavily in the finals of the play offs in May, Sutton Valence HC have had to pull out of the League, so AHC have been invited to replace them and we have accepted the South League’s offer and are thus promoted. The Men’s 1’s fixture list is currently being updated & thanks are due to Tracey (Luvvy) Holland & Andy Sonden for sorting out & rearranging things just as the Fixture card was due to be published!

The Club’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held in late May, but the attendance was once again poor, which is why before the hockey started on Club Day (6.9.14), an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) was held, the outcome of which is shown on page 7. The intention is to hold future AGM’s at the end of the season in the hope that more members will attend & take on Club roles. A list of who was appointed is shown on pages 2 & 8, but at present we are looking for a Club secretary and Captains’ and Vice Captain’s for the men’s 2’s & 4’s, all fairly vital posts so WE NEED YOUR HELP. We also need more people to train up as umpires and help with coaching, especially for the junior section, so again please help if you can & I have recently been circulating the new guidance & information on the EH coaching schemes & ideas. As always, recruitment of players of all ages and abilities remains a top priority for all sections of the Club & please see page 5 for more information.

The main news on the A(SL)S front is that Stephanie Sutch has joined the Management Committee as an AHC representative & has taken over several roles. Moreover, repairs to the patio area on the cricket field side, another water heater, the boards along the astro spectator fence & the extraction fans for changing rooms 5 & 7 have been completed this summer. Function room bookings and takings have remained high, & help from both ACC & AHC members is still very much needed for general tasks as well as specific skills. One project underway at present is looking at upgrading the floodlights & obtaining suitable grants to cover the costs. In addition, we would ask you to help by saving energy where possible e.g. closing external doors or switching off lights, & helping with the voluntary bar rota when you can. I am pleased to report that Victoria (Freddie) Chudleigh has kindly agreed to become a key holder & help with the bar opening & closing duties. On a personal note, I am now undertaking my Middlesex HA President’s role & have also attended a Middlesex Clubs Forum & assisted EH with some interviews for the South Clubs relationship manager position, but AHC still comes first! In closing may I wish you all a very successful & enjoyable season and of course “Come on you mighty Red & Blacks”. Lynne 07831 827690 lynne.morgan@live.co.uk


News

Ashford Antiques (AAs) News by Madame Presidente

Ex speedy 1’s left winger Bex Griffiths did a parachute jump for charity in the summer & survived – well done Bex.

Meanwhile back on land, Hannah & Darren Cole & Dave Baker have all run very decent, competitive half marathons this summer & Wendy Baker made a super triathlon debut, as well as Nicky Benedict doing the pretty muddy event. Polly Shoebridge also ran in another London Marathon, this time in fancy dress. Mrs Baker, Kelly Taylor, Mr & Mrs Symes & Darren Cole amongst others went in the Staines 10K as well & I’m sure other AAs & AHC members have also run in many events (Alison Donelan ?), What an active lot we are!

A few AAs were spectating at the London Marathon with 2 former 1’s players, namely Alan Watkinson (Teacher & good friend of Mo Farah) & goalkeeper Andy Justice (BB) (Teacher at Mo Farah’s old school in Feltham) in the VIP tent at the finish. Their pictures were duly published in the press reports of the race the next day.

Others have been on their bikes with Ben Washer, BB & Stacey Kenward competing in the 100 mile London bike race in torrential rain on a Sunday in August. Pleased to report that all safely finished the race & survived their soakings.

A welcome visitor to AHC with Banbury HC, for a men’s 1’s practice game at the end of last season was former 1’s player & coach, Adrian Simmons, whose wife George Tate Davies also played for AHC. They are both still well, although George isn’t playing any more, but Adrian is still enjoying his hockey & they now have 3 children. He asked to be remembered to all who knew & looked very fit & well.

Club Chairman Ian (Sherpa) Jenkins visited the Cotton family in Australia this summer, whilst he was on a work trip down under. The Cottons then returned the favour and visited the UK in July & caught up with many AHC friends & former team mates – sorry I missed you all. Unfortunately since they returned home Bruce has undergone a hip replacement operation at the start of September which went well, but soon after he got home he managed to dislocate the new hip joint & had to go back in for another operation. The hip is on the mend now, but Bruce developed a few small blood clots in his legs so needed a bit more treatment. Hopefully he will be up and about by the time you read this!

The Brant family also visited the UK & AHC briefly during the summer & their two girls (Katherine & Madeline) had a Sunday morning hockey coaching session, along with Jackie Parsons son (James) & daughter (Nadia) and young Hollie Neyton. The occasion was captured on camera & we are all hoping that in 8 or so years time we can take a similar picture of them all in AHC kit as senior playing members!

As normal, the Drambuie Sniffers & vintage AAs have had weekends away/tours this summer. The latter terrorised Jersey for 3 days & also had a summer Bash at Janet Crook’s place & met up with Carolyn Dale in Windsor amongst other sojourns. The Sniffers hit the West Country for their reunion & a few can remember what went on in between the drinking & eating!

Amongst some recent donations from Middlesex Women’s Hockey Association (MWHA) to the Hockey Museum, was an album of MWHA 1st & 2nd team photos from the early part of 1900’s up until the 1960/70s. Numerous AHC female stars were pictured including June Goulds, Shirley Winson, Jean Pugh, Jill Tickner (who also played for England), Jenny Creamer, Maureen Thacker & the still playing & ever reliable defender Doreen Brown.

The usual suspects of me, Brownie, Katie Dodd, Sue (Bod/BBQ) Lane & attended the Hockey World Cup in Holland this summer & bumped into Harvinder & Jeroen Sibia. We also met Adam Husband at the Investec London Cup, whilst a lot of AAs were present at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, including the Hull family, Julie Edwards, Sam Kendall & Cal Antell & numerous Sunbury HC players. Alf Rhodes amongst others spotted me on TV in my Daffodil hat whilst cheering on the Welsh teams & photos of my hat were requested by many. The most popular one to date is of me in my Daff hat is with GB & England ‘Captain Fantastic’ Kate Richardson-Walsh!


Social News

Saturday 6th September AHC Club Day

Eight 6/7-a-side mixed sides contested things out in the sun at a well attended Club day. After some fun pool games, and a tense couple of semi-finals, one completed via AHC’s first ever penalty shuffles shoot out; the Tigers and Antelope teams were eliminated and the Unicorns & Gekco’s went through to the final. Scores were equal at full & after extra time, so penalty flicks were taken, which went to sudden death and eventually the Unicorns won. Well done all, especially the organisers’, Kirsty Hull and Kate Thompson, along with BBQ man Billy Bassett & all who helped with the bouncy castle or umpired etc.


Social Dates for your Diaries!

Saturday 25th October 2014 – Race Night
Saturday 22nd December 2014 – Xmas Quiz
Saturday 7th February 2015 – to be decided
Saturday 29th March 2015 – AGM + Social
Saturday 25th April 2015 – Annual Club Dinner


Weddings/Engagements

Polly Shoebridge got engaged to Rajesh Shanmuganathan in September – congratulations both.


Stork Club

Kim Fry gave birth to her & Stewart’s second son Rowen weighing in at 9lbs 13oz on June 19th.


Goodbye

Goodbye to Jamie Hemphrey who has gone back to Uni & former player & recently 1st team manager & coach Lee Pettifer, who is now coaching at Wimbledon HC. Ladies goalkeeper Aime Woodman has also moved away & is not playing this season..


Retirements

Unfortunately two stalwart members of not only the Ladies section, but AHC as a whole have decided to put away their sticks & astro boots for good this summer. Both have been regular players for nearly four decades, namely Jane English & Sue Westlake. Jane joined in the mid 70’s & has played in all the ladies sides & captained the 4’s in the past as well as playing in many AAs games. Jane is a keen tennis player & will continue to play at Walton Tennis Club & plans to continue to support the AAs & AHC events. Sue Westlake has been at AHC for over 40 years, only taking time out to have children, & helped with many club duties & latterly with AHC’s Clubs First accreditation, which she is still assisting us with. Besides being a keen member & on occasion Captain of the 3’s/4’s, Sue has been a regular for the AAs on & off the pitch & a long time attendee at Wednesday night fitness training since our move to Short Lane. For the last five or so seasons they have both been key members of the 3’s & 4’s & have helped keep the lower teams going, by providing help both on & off the pitch. Thank you both, we will maiis you & come back & see us soon. Also leaving us is a long time Sunbury Ladies HC member, but latterly AHC super star Wendy Lowe (Poynter). Wendy is probably best known to most of AHC for her sterling help, advice, friendliness & humour whenever any of us visited the Pro-shop in Brentford. She is retiring to Ireland her home country, but has promised to stay in touch & organise suitable hockey/sports tours for us all in Dublin. Thanks Wendy for all you have done for AHC over the years and stay in touch as you were always the best source of hockey news & gossip in the County/South.


Welcomes

The ladies officially welcome back to AHC this season – Lucy Uttley, Hannah Gallagher, Kelly Taylor, Stacey Kenward, Nicki Winter and Maria Cavilla.


Summer Hockey

We managed to run a men’s and ladies summer league during May – July. The Ladies league hosted most of the usual teams, namely Staines, Eastcote, BA Hayes, & Old Uxonians, as well as welcoming Chertsey Thames Valley. As normal, the competition was divided into two leagues & the A league was won by Ashford A by default in the final & the B League by BA Hayes B and fun was had by all. The Men’s league hosted Staines, Amersham and Thames Valley, with Thames Valley ending up as the League Winners.


Recruitment

We are running free ‘Back to Hockey’ sessions for men on Tuesday evenings & Ladies on Wednesdays (7.30-9.30pm), so bring your mates, work mates, neighbours etc., down if you can & help spread the word about AHC. ‘New Membership Packs’ are available behind the bar for new junior & senior recruits, providing all the information on the Club they may require. Kirsty & Kate also hope to have some new AHC publicity posters available shortly for all members to use.


Sponsorship

We are looking for sponsorship for kit, fixture cards, the website, pitch banners and/or equipment of any sort, so if you think you or your Company can help please let one of the Committee know. Thanks.


AHC Website, Twitter and Face book

Are you aware we have a club website www.ashfordhockey.club.co.uk where you will find some match reports and all the latest news about our super hockey Club. We also have an AHC Face book Group & Face book Page so if you go onto Face book find AHC & press the ‘like’ button on the page then you will get the updates feeding through to your news feed.

We are also on Twitter @ashfordhockey so tweet us your news. A lot of AHC Tweets have been ‘favourited’ & ‘retweeted’ by England Hockey (EH), this summer along with many of the pictures we publish, which all helps to spread the word about AHC. Even our beloved Chairman (complete with a pint) got his picture in the Hockey Daily News, circulated by EH on Tweeter recently.


Juniors

The good news for the Juniors is that 2 new coaches have joined the club. Chris Martin is a Level 2 coach from Canterbury and has been training with the men on Tuesdays and has been coaching on Thursdays. Jon Long is a former Borough Road student and has been coaching the boys. All of last seasons’ coaches are still with us, we have the best pitch in the area, the best clubhouse in the area and so all we need now is the players! To that end the club has received sponsorship to cover a £10 finder’s fee to anyone who brings down a new junior player. The fee is payable once the new player has paid their subscription.


Ladies Club Captain

Season Starts again – Get ready to go…

The ladies focus for this season is on promoting our Ladies 1’s back into Middlesex Women’s Premier Division and strengthening the ladies section as a whole. Our key focus will be on training and the importance of working together on Wednesday nights in our teams. The structure for training has now changed with the last hour of the session being dedicated to working in the teams for the coming Saturday. Attendance is really important so that we are all aware of what we are doing when it comes to game time, so please let’s all keep up the great attendance we have had to so far.

We have a great depth across the ladies section and I really believe Ashford Ladies are going to have a fantastic Season.

Hannah Cole – Ladies Club Captain


Men's Club Captain

This season sees the mens 1s getting off to a flying start before the season even gets under way, after the bitter disappointment of missing out on automatic promotion at the end of last season by goal difference and then suffering defeat in the final of the promotion play off’s, preparations for a promotion drive in the coming season were well under way when the news came through that promotion was back on the cards due to a team dropping out of the league, and so after accepting the offer of a place, promotion to South Premier Div 2 was finally secured.

This season sees a change of coaching set up for the men with Lee Pettifer departing the club, I would like to thank Lee for all the hard work he put into running the men’s 1st XI and also the coaching of the men’s section. He is replaced this year with our new coach Ahtisham Khan. Many of you will know Ahti well from his playing days at the club and I am sure you will join me in wishing him every success this season, especially now we are back in the Premier Divisions. The 1s first game of the season is this coming weekend away against Horsham.

Ahti will be supported in the coaching by Player/coach Patrick Fisher in much the same fashion as last year and Patrick will also be involved in a coaching capacity throughout the club.

The rest of the mens sides sees the the 2s playing again in the MMBO Division 1 and although pre-season has been interrupted due to injuries and lack of availability they will be looking for another strong season that saw them come up just short of promotion last year.

The 3s are playing in the MBBO Open League Div 6 this season and will be looking for another masterful season under Gordon Smith and the 4s are playing in Thames Valley Conference friendly league this year that give them the flexibility of arranging games to suit selection based upon player availability.

Speaking of player availability, number of players and in particular new recruits remains an area where we all need to work really hard to try and bring in new members. We need to keep 4 teams playing strong hockey in order to drive the club forward so so if you know anyone who is looking to start playing or get back into playing or is looking to play at a higher standard then please bring them down to the club or pass on their details so we can get them along to a training session.

As always I look forward to watching and maybe even playing some good hockey this season and I certainly look forward to seeing everyone in a social capacity at the club over the coming year.

Good luck all.

Dave Baker -Men’s Club Captain

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