Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships Preview

Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships transparent png

With the outdoor season taking its winter break, hockey moves indoors with a new title sponsor for the 2011-2012 season.  The Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships get under way this weekend with the Maxifuel Men’s Premier Division taking place at Loughborough University and the Maxifuel Women’s Premier Division hosted at the University of the West England in Bristol.

The support of sports nutrition company Maxifuel is extended to include the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals, which will once again be played at London’s Wembley Arena on Sunday 29th January 2012. 

Beeston goalkeeper George Pinner walks out between volunteers for the men's final at the super sixes Finals 2011 at Wembley Arena

Tickets for the must-see event, the biggest domestic hockey event in the calendar, are on sale now and with more than 7000 people expected to fill the arena there is no better way to start the New Year.  To book your tickets today visit www.englandhockey.co.uk/maxifuelsupersixes, click on the Ticketmaster website or call 0844 815 0815.  Hockey clubs can also book their group tickets by calling the England Hockey direct on 01628 897512.

Before then, nine teams will compete in both the Men’s & Women’s Premier Divisions over two weekends, the second of which is 7-8 January. The top four teams in each of the Maxifuel Premier Divisions will progress to the semi finals. 

Follow the action from Loughborough and Bristol via Twitter using the hashtag #MaxifuelSuperSixes or visit the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships pages on the website by clicking here for the men’s league and here for the women’s league.

Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships Men’s Premier Division

East Grinstead continues to be the team to beat indoors having dominated the scene in recent years.  Their title winning run stretches back to the 2006-2007 season. They did however lose their first Premier Division match in three East Grinstead's Niall Stott celebrates after scoring a goal in the 2011 men's super sixes Final at Wembley Arenayears last season when they lost to Beeston, before getting their revenge in the Super Sixes Final at Wembley Arena [video highlights] in a close encounter. East Grinstead’s squad is depleted somewhat for the first weekend with their international stars playing for Great Britain at the Champions Trophy in New Zealand, but they still name a strong squad which includes David De Prez, who scored seven goals in two matches in last year’s Super Sixes Finals at Wembley. 

A number of other clubs are also affected by the absence of their internationals this weekend with Beeston, Reading (below), Old Loughtonians and Surbiton without Great Britain players.  As they look to bolster their squads, all five of those clubs have brought in players from elsewhere for the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships.  Reading will once again welcome back Austin Smith from Den Bosch with Beeston also securing the services of Tim Davenport from Team Bath Buccaneers for another season.  The Nottinghamshire side has also signed GB international Ben Hawes who will be available for the second weekend in January.

Reading men's team bench at the super sixes Finals 2011 at Wembley Arena

New to the league this year are Harleston Magpies and Sevenoaks after their promotions from Division One last season.  , Sevenoaks have brought in brothers Chris & Nick Barker in a bid to strengthen their squad and in Giles Dakin and Richard Payne have players with indoor finals experience from their time at East Grinstead.  Surbiton & Bowdon will look to replicate their form in the second weekend of last year’s competition, which saw them climb out of the bottom two to safety whilst Canterbury will look to break into the top four for the first time since 2007 when they went on to win the Championship. Old Loughtonians have added Havant’s Jamie Askam to their squad as the look to make the finals for the fourth time in five years.

Hitting the ground running is all important in the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships with teams playing four games each weekend.  The top four teams in the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships Men’s Premier Division will secure their position at Wembley Arena while for the bottom two, automatic relegation to Division One looms large.

Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships Women’s Premier Division

There is a change to the format of the Maxifuel Super Sixes Women’s Premier Division this year with the semi finals moving to a separate Friday night event of their own.  After two lightning quick weekends of Maxifuel Women’s Premier Division action at the University of the West of England (10-11 December and 7-8 January), the top four sides will progress to the semi finals, which this season take place at Loughborough University on the evening of Saturday 14 January 2012.  The two winning semi finalists will march on to Wembley Arena, where they will do battle for the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals title in front of more than 7000 passionate supporters.

The Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships Women’s Premier Division is once again expected to be a close encounter.  It was Leicester who dominated last season winning seven out of their eight games to claim top position in the table before falling to Reading in the semi finals.  Such is the exciting nature of the semi finals and final that anything can happen.  Reading snuck into the semi finals from fourth position, finishing ahead of Sutton Coldfield and Canterbury on goal difference, but they went on to knock out Leicester before going down to winners Bowdon Hightown in dramatic style at Wembley Arena.

Super Sixes Finals BowdonThe performance of Bowdon Hightown in last season’s Super Sixes Final was thrilling as they got the better of Reading on penalty strokes [video highlights].  This season the Cheshire side has signed Claire Lowry and Lotta Hof in a bid to make the last four again, although they will be without Great Britain international and indoor specialist Sally Walton, who is in San Diego for a five match series between Great Britain and fellow Olympic qualifiers USA.  Slough will once again look to make the last four as they have consistently done in recent years and they have signed Victoria Goodacre and Amanda Ferebee.  Having lost to Bowdon Hightown in last season’s semi finals they will hope to go one better and reach the showpiece event at Wembley.

Newcomers to the league this year are Clifton and Harleston Magpies, replacing Ipswich and Chelmsford, who were relegated at the end of last season.   Both will be looking to get points on the board early on but there are no easy games.  Clifton have perhaps the toughest start with matches against two of last season’s semi finalists, Bowdon Hightown and Slough, on Saturday.  The Magpies take on Trojans and Slough before facing up to Slough and Canterbury on Sunday.  Clifton face Leicester and Trojans on Sunday. 

South coast side Trojans finished three points clear of relegation last season while it could not have been tighter between Canterbury and Sutton Coldfield.   Having lost out on a semi final place to Reading, those two sides are all too aware of how fine the margins will be between success and failure.

Twitter logoFollow the action from Loughborough and Bristol via Twitter using the hashtag #MaxifuelSuperSixes or visit the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships pages on the website by clicking here for the men’s league and here for the women’s league.

If you’re at Loughborough or Bristol let us know on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EnglandHockey or via Twitter @EnglandHockey. Remember the hashtag #MaxifuelSuperSixes.

Make someone's Christmas with a trip to the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals

Don’t forget, we’ve recently launched on YouTube and we’ve got all the highlights from last year’s Super Sixes Finals at Wembley Arena.  If you missed it, take a look.   The 2012 Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals are set to be bigger and better and you can be there.  At just £5 for under 18s and £12.50 for adults, the fastest show in town makes the perfect Christmas present for hockey fans.

You can also enjoy the Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals in style with a hospitality upgrate.  Premium seats and VIP suite access will also see you receive:
• Car parking
• Refreshments all day including coffee and pastries on arrival, a rolling buffet lunch and afternoon tea
• Free morning papers and event programme

Click here or all Richard Fynn on 01628 897507 for more information.

England Hockey women's players sign autographs for fans at the super sixes Finals 2011 at Wembley Arena