On the move....

Ashley Jackson has left East Grinstead for Holcombe


We are just days away from the start of the new Men’s Hockey League season and as usual, the summer has been a busy time. Players, coaches and managers have all been subject to the usual comings and goings as every team aims to make their mark on the new season.

Perhaps the most eye-catching of all the moves is that of England and Great Britain’s all-time leading goalscorer, Ashley Jackson. The No7 has swapped the white of East Grinstead for the red of newly-promoted Holcombe, where he joins a number of his international teammates. Following Jackson to Holcombe Park is none other than Sam Ward. The former Beeston goal machine has moved in search of a new challenge and links up with Jackson at club as well as international level.

Beeston moved swiftly to replace the departed Ward, with his England team mate Mark Gleghorne making the move to Nottingham from East Grinstead to supply the goals for The Bees. Beeston have been active in the transfer market and alongside Gleghorne, keep an eye out for England junior international James Albery, who moves from Cambridge City and rising Scotland star Hamish Imrie, who moves from Grange.

East Grinstead have moved to cover their departures with a number of canny signings. Dom Bowden returns from a spell in Holland to join the Saint Hill club whilst Rob Schilling brings his considerable experience over from Surbiton. Goalkeeper Richard Potton leaves the club after a long spell between the posts, to join the ex-East Grinstead contingent at Conference outfit Sevenoaks.

Both Cannock and Brooklands MU will be hoping to improve their fortunes from last season and though they haven’t been the most active of sides in the transfer window, both have made what could prove to be very useful acquisitions. With Cannock bringing in Robbie Gleeson, from Olton and West Warwicks and Brooklands taking North Conference player of the year Rob Turner from Bowdon.

Hampstead have lost the penalty corner expertise of Andrew Hayward who heads to Surbiton but Michael Johnson’s side have been far from quiet on the transfer front with seven new recruits coming in. They have added the considerable talents of Richard Springham and Jon Codling from Reading and have also raided the midlands clubs for Muhammad Irfan and Stuart Loughrey.

Surbiton have bolstered their ranks with a number of good signings alongside Hayward, but will bid farewell to former Great Britain star Rob Moore, who heads to Fareham.

Reading have been stung by good exam results for a number of their young guns, losing Max Heaver (University of Exeter), Peter Scott (Bath Buccaneers) and Jack Clee (University of Birmingham) from last year’s cup winning side.

Champions Wimbledon have performed some fine tuning rather than wholesale changes, bringing in Euro Hockey League winner Richie Dawson-Smith who returns home from a successful spell in Germany with Harvestehuder. They have also added Peter Millar from Jersey and Matthias Knuepfer from Club an der Alster in Germany. Although they have lost striker Tejinder Hanspal who returns to Indian Gymkhana to join the Ian Jennings revolution.

Canterbury hope to avoid last year’s great escape through the playoffs and have added six players including Ivo Moreira from Sport Club do Porto and Tariq Marano from Malvern Sports Club in Trinidad and Tobago.

Below are some of the selected moves into each club:

BEESTON
Mark Gleghorne - from East Grinstead
Tom Sorsby - from Sheffield Hallam
Alex Hardwick - from Old Loughtonians
Bertie Mortimer - from Harleston Magpies
James Albery - from Cambridge City
Hamish Imrie - from Grange (Scotland)

BROOKLANDS MU
Robert Turner - from Bowdon

CANNOCK
William Burns - from Olton & WW
Robbie Gleeson - from Olton & WW

CANTERBURY
Sam George - from Sevenoaks
Rob Playford - from Ashford
Ivo Moreira - from Sport Club do Porto
Chris Smith - from Ashford
Tariq Marano - from Malvern Sports Club (TRI)
Craig Boyne - from YMCC Coastal City (AUS)

EAST GRINSTEAD
Jannis Schwebs - from Berliner
Dominic Bowden - from Den Bosch
Ben Allberry - from Canterbury
Robert Schilling - from Surbiton
George Oyebode - from Oxted
Mark Galloway - from Durham Uni
Ollie Davies - from Durham Uni
Adam Seccull - from St Kilda Powerhouse (AUS)
Tendo Kimuli - from Bromley & Beckenham

HAMPSTEAD & WESTMINSTER
Callum Stoddart – from Loughborough Students
Stuart Loughrey - from Cannock
Richard Springham - from Reading
Muhammad Irfan - from Olton & WW
Alex Simpson - from Havering
Toby Roche - from Westside Wolves
Tom Kavanagh - from West Hampstead
Jonny Codling - from Reading

HOLCOMBE
Sam Ward - from Beeston
Ashley Jackson - from East Grinstead
Nicholas Bandurak - from Cannock
Alistair Bray - from Canterbury

READING
Oliver Deasy - from Hampstead & Westminster
Peter Kelly - from Sydney Uni
Montgomery Jefferson - from Sardinero (ESP)
Jack Smart - from Reading Uni
Ali Parkes - from Liverpool Uni
James O'Neil - from Durham Uni
Chris Wyver - from Canterbury

SURBITON
Andrew Hayward - from Hampstead & Westminster
Robert Marx - from Berliner
David Bartram - from Old Georgians
Paul Reeves - from Old Georgians
Gareth Furlong - from Leidsche En Oegstgeester (NED)

WIMBLEDON
Peter Millar - from Jersey
Matthias Knuepfer - from Alster
Richie Dawson-Smith -from Harvestehuder

For a run down of the weekend's fixtures and start times, click here.

This season there is a Fantasy Hockey competition, run by England Star Tom Carson and his company, Young Ones. To add a bit of spice and interest to the domestic season, why not enter and test yourself against other hockey fans? For all the details click here.