An early Sunday morning trip to a sunny Broxbourne for the U12s. The clocks had gone forward an hour, but didn’t dent the players’ enthusiasm.

Thanks to coaches for organising and supporting the team, and to parents for coming along. We got off a flying start with a 2-0 win over Blueharts C and two goals for Arran. One goal following a great assist from Orla and a second where Arran refused to give up and got it past the keeper. A strong defensive performance with some crucial tackles from Dawud helped secure victory.

A trickier second game against Letchworth Bs followed. We went 1-0 down, Arran pulled a goal back, but we lost 3-1.

The final game against Broxbourne B was where the team showed true grit. We went 1-0 but battled on to secure a 1-1 draw with a great goal and finish from Sam after some brilliant work by Oscar who always lively up front. Aled was the linchpin in defence directing the team, with Grace getting into some great positions to create chances and winning tackles.

Well done Dawud, Orla, Grace, Aled, Oscar, Sam, Arran – a great end to the season, a real team effort and you should all be very proud!

A Sunday morning trip up the A1 to Blueharts for the U12s. We arrived in a wet and windy Hitchin, but the players were full of enthusiasm and ready to go.

We got off a good start with a 0-0 draw in our first game against Blueharts D. A trickier second game against Harpenden C sadly saw us go down 3-0. The third game against Blueharts C was a tight 1-0 defeat. We rounded off the tournament with a 9-a-side game against Letchworth C losing 1-0 after a strong performance.

It was a great experience for the players taking part in their first tournament, alongside some of our more experienced players. Hard work across the team, great spirit, strong tackles and creating good chances. Lots of positives to build on for the next tournament.

Well done Dawud, Emilia, Edward, Orla, Adam, Zoe, Hannah, Mia, Sam, Arran, James. And thanks to the parents for braving the weather.

The Under 12s headed up the A1 on Sunday to Blueharts Hockey Club in Hitchin for their first tournament in a long time. Some nerves, an air of the unknown, but lots of excitement.

We got off to a flying start with a 1-0 win over Broxbourne B. We played some lovely hockey. It was an all round great team effort with a superb finish from Oscar. What a start to the tournament!

We again dominated possession in the next game against Harpenden C with some excellent work from Sam in midfield. The game ended in a slightly frustrating 0-0 draw, but U12s went into the next game more determined than ever to get a win.

Despite facing a strong Letchworth B side, some great pressure from James S, Aled, and Grace, and important tackles from James T and Edward, meant we went 1-0 up after a brilliant finish from Oscar. Another win!

Slightly taken aback by the presence of a goalkeeper in our penultimate game, U12s worked hard and forced the keeper to make lots of saves. We felt unlucky to come away with a 0-0 draw against Blueharts C.

Hearts sank when a goalkeeper again appeared for the final game against Blueharts B. But not to be deterred, the U12s put in a strong performance. Orla got in to some good positions, and Teddy followed up on the rebound with a brilliant goal lifting it past the keeper. Adam smashed the ball past the keeper with a great first touch for our second. We held on to win 2-1.

The team played so well – working together as a team, using the width of the pitch, and brimming with confidence. Well done Edward, Orla, Adam, Grace, Aled, Oscar, Teddy, James S, Sam, James T. The next tournament can’t come soon enough.

Thanks to Jason and to parents for their support on the day.

Results:

WHE 1 – 0 Broxbourne B
WHE 0 – 0 Harpenden C
WHE 1 – 0 Letchworth B
WHE 0 – 0 Blueharts C
WHE 2 – 1 Blueharts B

Despite a 9am start on a Sunday morning, 30 juniors managed to drag their parents out so they could take part in our end of season tournament last weekend! With the second half of the season disrupted by COVID lockdown restrictions, it was great to see so many keen to play and show off their skills on the slightly bumpy “MUGA” pitch at the club. Many also having grown about 6 inches since we last saw them!

After a nice warm up and a bit of stick and ball time to get them ready to play, the juniors were put into 5 teams – Red, Green, Orange, Yellow and Purple (of course!) – with each team playing each other once in a round robin format of 10 minute matches. Considering many of them had not picked up a stick for 4 months, there was some great play all round with 26 goals scored and some hard fought matches. And it all came down to the last game, Red versus Orange, to decide the winners. A win for Orange would see them champions, but a draw or loss would mean Green would take the crown. Red battled hard, but Orange just managed to sneak home with the winning goal coming two minutes from time.

The final standings

A great morning of hockey and a nice way to wrap up the winter season. Watch this space for news of more junior events during the summer.

It has finally happened – England Hockey has announced that stage 4 of its Return to Play Roadmap can begin. This is the next step along the road to returning to normal playing conditions and very welcome news as we approach the new season. As a club and section, we are working hard to ensure that everyone joining us for hockey sessions is safeguarded.

In order to protect our members, we must all adhere to some simple rules:

  • Every player must sign the COVID consent form before their first training session back. This can be found on the England Hockey website (where there is plenty of further information) or directly by following this link.
  • Every player must also now “check-in” whenever using any of our club pitches – the MUGA, Aylward and Southbury. This is done via a QR code which can be scanned at the entrance to each facility, and then it automatically opens a simple form in Teamo which allows you to confirm that you are symptom free and aware of the risks of participation. Information will be stored for 21 days, as per UK guidelines, where after, it will be permanently deleted.
  • We are happy to announce that our MUGA training slots are no longer limited by numbers. We are still asking that groups keep to a maximum of 12 players on the playing area at any one time to allow for safe play and social distancing during and between training drills when possible. However, other players are welcome to take advantage of the space around the playing area to work on their fitness.
  • As we go through these difficult times, we are asking players to take extra precautions when playing. This includes social distancing before and after sessions, not touching the balls with your hands or anyone else’s equipment. We also strongly suggest that you do not share lifts with any other player outside your household.
  • After each session, we will be sanitizing the balls and cones using sanitizing spray. We also ask that every player cleans their kit and equipment and leaves them for a minimum of 72 hours. Although the club is working to ensure that hand sanitizing stations are in place, we also suggest that players carry their own hand sanitizer to use before and after sessions.

The attached infographic provides a nice summary of the current guidance. Keep watching for further information when we return to full pitch training and then matches. If you want any more information or have any questions, please contact our COVID Officer – Gemma Luckman at welfare.whehockey@gmail.com or go to the England hockey advice page.