Clifton Robinsons grateful for chance to play

Clifton grateful for chance to play
Clifton Robinsons have got their Women’s Hockey League Premier Division season off to a solid start under the leadership of Head Coach Juliet Rayden.

A loss to East Grinstead in the opening weekend was quickly forgotten as the team put in two sparkling performances to beat league newcomers Wimbledon and Swansea.

As she reflects on the early days of the new season, Rayden says above all, she is happy that people can play hockey again.

“We have had three competitive games, which were all challenging in different ways. It was important to get the home win against Wimbledon before our bye weekend. We have had a number of new players in and we are pleased with the progress we are making in the early stages of the league. In the bigger picture we recognise how fortunate we are to be playing competitive hockey at the moment.”

Consistency is the holy grail for coaches right now. New players have had a chance to settle in and the pre-season and early season coaching and games will have highlighted any areas to work on. It is certainly a quality that Rayden sees as key to success.

“We need to focus on improving our performance as individuals and as a team and making these performances better each week. We need to be as consistent as possible. We have identified key areas from last season that were not good enough and as a coaching team we need to provide opportunities in training for the players to improve in these areas. The players are responding very well.”

The Bristol-based team have a tough challenge ahead of them this weekend as they face Holcombe.

The Kent team have struggled to hit form, only winning one match so far. However, Rayden knows that Holcombe’s Head Coach Kevin Johnson will have plans to raise his team’s performance levels and she will need her team to be on their game to repel the Holcombe attack.

“It is always a tight game against Holcombe, who have some experienced players. We need to focus on our performance and as the home team we need make sure we set the right intensity from the start of the game.”

Loughborough Students and East Grinstead are locked together at the top of the table but the Students game with Beeston is off. On Sunday, East Grinstead face the challenge of Hampstead and Westminster. behind closed doors at Lee Valley. It is a match that Hampstead and Westminster’s co-Head Coach Sarah Kelleher is relishing.

“It will be a really good battle [against East Grinstead]. The quality of the games we are playing in the league is brilliant. Each time you go out, you face a new challenge and that helps you raise your game and that is what we love. We are really, really excited about it.”

In the remaining two matches Swansea travel to Buckingham hoping to get some points on the table, while Wimbledon will look to bounce back from their defeat last weekend.

The London side have made a solid start to their league debut with a 50% win rate, and will continue to push for a place in the top half of the table at the expense of the University of Birmingham – another side searching for a first victory.

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Restrictions for spectators apply at some games. Please check before travelling.

Women’s Hockey League  (Saturday 17 October 2020):

Premier Division
Buckingham v Swansea 12:00
Clifton Robinsons v Holcombe 13:30
Loughborough Students v Beeston postponed
Wimbledon v Univ of Birmingham 14:00

Division One North
Brooklands-Poynton v Univ of Nottingham postponed
Gloucester City v Ben Rhydding 12:00
Leicester City v Univ of Durham 14:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Bowdon 12:00
Stourport v Belper 14:30

Division One South
Canterbury v Wimbledon 2s 14:00
Harleston Magpies v Cambridge City 13:30
Isca v Sevenoaks postponed
Slough v Trojans 12:15
Surbiton 2s v Reading 16:30

Conference East
Bedford v Barnes 13:30
Bromley & Beckenham v Canterbury 2s 12:30
East London v Southgate 18:00
Horsham v Chelmsford 13:30
St Albans v Hampstead & Westminster 2s 13:00

Conference North
Alderley Edge v Wakefield 14:00
Doncaster v Leeds 12:00
Fylde v Timperley postponed
Loughborough Students 2s v Cannock 12:00
Pendle Forest v Didsbury Northern postponed

Conference West
Basingstoke v Bristol Firebrands 14:00
Cheltenham v Sutton Coldfield 12:30
Oxford Hawks v Exe 12:00
Oxford Univ v Clifton Robinsons 2s postponed
Team Bath Buccaneers v Univ of Birmingham 2s 12:30

Women’s Hockey League (Sunday 18 October 2020):

Premier Division
Hampstead & Westminster v East Grinstead 12:30 at Lee Valley