Preview: Men's Super 6s

Canterbury celebrate reaching Hockey 5s final

The indoor season has crept up on us with the first weekend of the Super 6s league due to take place this weekend. The Men’s competition takes place at the Arena Leisure Village in Kettering with some mouth-watering matches set to get underway as the road to Wembley starts in earnest for our top teams.

Last year’s champions East Grinstead head into the competition as the team to beat, aiming as they are for their eighth consecutive title. The Sussex side have named a strong squad with Simon Faulkner, scorer of 12 goals in qualifying last season taking the captain’s armband. Last season’s top scorer Niall Stott, who bagged an incredible 23 goals in the competition, is back for the defending champions whilst the competition’s second top scorer, Ben Allberry will turn out for Grinstead this year, ensuring they have plenty of firepower in the final third.

Last year’s runners up Canterbury will be going into the competition with high hopes once again. Under Coach Kwan Browne they are often the best prepared side in the competition, with the coach’s almost obsessive attention to detail standing them in good stead. Skipper Tom Richford remains a formidable indoor player whilst in Australian Craig Boyne, the tricky Ross Gilham-Jones, Wei Adams and of course last year’s top scorer Liam Foster, Canterbury will be confident of going one better this year.

Semi-finalists Reading and Sevenoaks have a strong look about them with Sevenoaks adding Chichester’s talisman Matt Cox and Cardiff’s Owain Dolan-Gray to their already quality side whilst Reading look to the likes of Tom Carson, Ben Boon, Richard Mantell and of course Skipper Chris Newman for their inspiration.

Holcombe, led by Richard Lane have a good blend of youth and experience in their group in the absence of their international contingent. Nick Bandurak is one to look out for whilst Adam Jordan’s seemingly limitless energy will make him a thorn in the side of every defence. Bowdon are missing the talents of last year’s top scorer Simon Egerton, now plying his trade in Holland but with Mike Shaw proving to be an ace drag flicker and with the experience of the likes of Ian Wilson they will still expect to do well.

Beeston narrowly avoided the drop last time out and have gone with a youthful approach to their indoor campaign this time out. A number of skilled, exciting youngsters will line up for them with Hamish Imrie, Eliot Hibell and Josh Pavis all capable of some superb hockey under the watchful eye of the legendary Martin Jones.

Loughborough Students are back in the top flight after gaining promotion last season and look to have a very strong side. Toby Reynolds-Cotterill is one of the most impressive young goalkeepers in the country whilst their guest singings, Cannock Captain Marc Edwards and former player Rob Farrington should prove to be very useful additions indeed.

The other promoted side is Wimbledon who will have plenty of ambition. Steven Ebbers has the skills to match anyone else in the competition and in Tim Davenport, Phil Ball and Johnny Kinder they have three strikers who will be a nightmare for the teams they come up against. Their other guest player is rising star Jack Turner who many will remember as being part of the Great Britain U21 side who won the Sultan of Johor Cup.  

With the four places at finals day up for grabs, a good start in the first weekend is of great importance. Looking at the quality in each of the squads, it promises to be a very close competition. You can follow all the live score updates here.

Tickets to the finals of the Super Sixes are already on sale with some superb incentives for group bookings up for grabs. Click here for all the details on how you can be there for hockey’s big day in.