Clubhouse: Winter Transfers

Holcombe's Shelley Russell celebrates for South Africa

With the winter break allowing coaches across the Investec Women’s Hockey League some time for reflection there have been some intriguing moves taking place since the last league games back in December. Whilst there have not been as many changes within the women’s league as there have been in the men’s, there are plenty of transfers to catch the eye.

One that leaps off the page straight away is that of Shelley Russell’s return to Holcombe. The South African star was a key part in their promotion push last season before returning to her native country for the first half of this campaign. With Holcombe one of a cluster of clubs jockeying for position in the final play-off spot Russell’s pace, drive and eye for goal could prove to be a great asset as the Kent side aim to make it to Lee Valley to fight for the title. Holcombe have also added the Scotland and Great Britain star Sarah Robertson to their ranks. Robertson, who captained her country for the first time in early November, has 52 caps for Scotland and returns from a spell in Belgium where she was playing for Leuven. She will be aiming to impress as she joins a number of her GB teammates at club level.

Beeston, currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division have bolstered their squad with the signing of Ainsley McCallister from Michigan State University in the USA. The 22-year-old played for her country in the Junior World Cup and was Michigan captain before heading to these shores.

Just above Beeston in the Premier Division sit Bowdon Hightown. Fresh from winning the Hockey 5s title at Wembley, Tina Cullen’s side now turn their attention to a relegation fight outdoors. They have brought in Lisa Garbutt from Doncaster and Sofia Walbaum from Prince of Wales Country Club in Chile. Playoff contenders Clifton have added Emily Munsey from Oxford Hawks and Annie Wiffen has re-registered for Leicester.

Outside the top flight, a number of promotion contenders have added to their squads. Steph Baggett has joined St Albans from Horsham as the Tangerines hope to overhaul East Grinstead; who are Baggett’s other former club in the East Conference. West Conference pace-setters Slough have added the skills of Leanne Ryan from Irish side Old Alex and Conference North contenders Brooklands Poynton have brought in Lucinda Taylor and Ellen Lockhart, both from Manchester University.

You can take a look at all the transfers and registrations by clicking here.

There is a full programme of Investec Women's Hockey League fixtures this weekend. For all the games click here.

Want to be there to watch the culmination of the season’s hard work for all the top teams? Book your tickets to the league finals weekend, and earn some cash for your club by clicking here.

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