Hampstead have Surbiton in their sights

Hampstead and Westminster celebrate a goal v Canterbury. Credit Mark Clews 450

A raft of new signings helped Hampstead and Westminster record an emphatic 7-2 opening day victory over Canterbury last weekend, and they will be aiming to keep that form going when they head to Surbiton in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Among the many new signings are Head Coach Kwan Browne from Canterbury. Matt Guise Brown and Chris Cargo have moved from Southgate and Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles Belgium respectively, while Michael Watt has joined from Lisnagarvey HC in Ireland.

Both Watt and Guise Brown scored hat-tricks in their opening day win, while Cargo scored the other.

Other new faces include five former Surbiton players including Ireland’s Geoff McCabe and Welsh duo Rupert Shipperley and David Kettle, as well as youngster Will Calnan and Stephen Kelly.

Harry Gibson has left Hampstead to go to Surbiton, while Richard Springham has returned to Reading.

“We’ve made a lot of exciting new signings, the main one being Kwan Browne as Head Coach,” said Team Manager Thea Hitchcock. “He has proved a big draw for a lot of players.

“We started recruiting early and have had a really good pre-season starting in July. We’ve really concentrated on having an intense pre-season because we knew it would be such a big new group so it would take time to gel.”

In other top flight action, last season’s beaten finalists Reading play host to Holcombe, while East Grinstead head to Canterbury and Brooklands Manchester University take on Beeston at King’s School in Macclesfield due to rebuilding works at their Georges Road pitch.

And Sunday sees last season’s champions Wimbledon play Loughborough Students.

In the Men’s Conference East Cambridge City, who enjoyed a good win at Teddington last week, are at home against another team who won in week one, Sevenoaks. And Oxted will be aiming to repeat last weekend’s four-nil win when they play Brighton and Hove.

Olton & West Warwicks and the University of Durham meet in Men’s Conference North having both laid down strong markers in their first games; Olton beating Leek 8-0 and Durham winning 4-1 at relegated Cannock.

Having put six goals past Fareham last weekend, newcomers Old Georgians will be aiming to keep their great early form going when they go to the University of Birmingham in the Men’s Conference West.


* The above photograph shows Hampstead and Westminster celebrating a goal against Canterbury. Credit: Mark Clews.

* For full details of all pre-season player movements see http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/fl/ehl/playermovement_m.asp?l=1

FIXTURES – Saturday, September 24

Men’s Premier Division
Brooklands Manchester Univ v Beeston 12:00
Canterbury v East Grinstead 18:00
Surbiton v Hampstead and Westminster 18:00
Reading v Holcombe 18:30

Men’s Conference East
Cambridge City v Sevenoaks 12:30
Southgate v Indian Gymkhana 15:30
Oxted v Brighton and Hove 17:00
Wapping v West Herts 17:30
Richmond v Teddington 18:00

Men’s Conference North
Univ of Durham v Olton and West Warwicks 14:00
Preston v Doncaster 14:00
Leek v Sheffield Hallam 14:00
Oxton v Bowdon 14:30
Cannock v Deeside Ramblers 18:00

Men’s Conference West
Chichester v Isca 12:15
Univ of Birmingham v Old Georgians 12:30
Univ of Exeter v Cheltenham 12:30
Cardiff and Met v Univ of Bristol 12:30
Fareham v Team Bath Buccaneers 13:30 

FIXTURES – Sunday, September 25

Men’s Premier Division
Wimbledon v Loughborough Students 14:00