Historic day comes as City of Peterborough will field fourteen teams in the League for the first time
Make a note in your diaries, on Saturday 5th October City of Peterborough Hockey Club will field ten men’s teams and four ladies teams in the East League for the first time. This is something we know that no other hockey club in the East League has ever achieved, and it’s hard to find anything else comparable when looking elsewhere in the country too.
Not to mention the 180 players of different sex, age, shape and size this needs on the pitch, there are also between 8 to 12 umpires needed, as well as numerous managers, coaches, tea makers, bar staff, administrators, parent drivers and spectator that all come together to make this possible.
With thirteen teams last year, the club was by far the biggest in the league, but the addition of the young 9th team this season, who will play in Division 6 North West (North), takes us to ten Men’s league teams for the first time, adding to the four ladies teams. The fixture is against Long Sutton’s 4th team at the Thomas Deacon Academy and is one of the 8 “home” fixtures we’re hosting on Saturday.
In the other home fixtures, the biggest game of the day is the Men’s 1st XI’s game against Ramgarhia at 1pm. There was a very disappointing result for them last week at West Herts, but they now have learnt that Prem A is not a division you can take lightly, and it’s felt that it is good that this was a very early lesson, as there is still time to put it right.
The squad will be strengthened with two new players flying in from “down under” this week. The first is last season’s 1st XI player of the year – Jonny “Apples” Appleton. Joining him is Australian Brett Churchill, who has been playing hockey with Appleton in the Victoria State League. With good debuts from some of the young fringe players (Davies, Foad and Howard) in the 1st XI Cup match last Sunday, and hopefully the return from injury of Simon Shorter soon, the depth of players available is looking good, but coach Gareth Andrew needs to blend that talent all together quickly.
Also at home at 2.30pm are the Men’s 3rd team who entertain Felixstowe, an up and coming club, benefiting from an influx of players from the Ipswich area (and from Peterborough in the guise of James Sharpe, who has moved to the area for work). For City of Peterborough, fifteen year old Manny Patel is the joint top scorer in the club, with four league goals in two matches. A precocious talent from an early age, many have thought Manny a little too small to play this high up now, but his hat-trick at Cambridge University last week has proved again that “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough!”
The 10am games are the Men’s 5th team at Bretton Gate who play Cambridge South 2nds, and the Men’s 7th team against Spalding 2nds at the Thomas Deacon Academy.
The Ladies have the 11.30am slots, with the Ladies 2nds v Bedford 2nds at the TDA, and the Ladies 3rd team hosting Skegness Ladies in their first East League fixture of the season.
Closing out the day, the Men’s 8th team start their league season against Newmarket 2nds, in the 4pm game.
On the road, the Ladies 1st XI go to Norwich Dragons at the Dragons Den. They will want to consolidate on their good win last week and bring all the points back from Norfolk.
A tough game awaits the Men’s 2nd team at Cambridge City 2nds. With the Cambridge team strengthening their first XI in the National League, there is the clear knock on effect of their 2nd team improving and pushing up the leagues (to where they should be). But Andrew Cave is keen to keep his CoP team winning and pressing to get out of the league and Cambridge City 2nds are likely to be one of the key rivals, so this is a big game.
The Men’s 4th team have scored 10 unanswered goals, winning 4-nil and 6-nil in their two games taking them to the top of Division 3 North West. Nothing less than bringing back all the points from their game at Cambridge South, is Neil Lake’s objective on Saturday morning.
With two wins from two games, the Men’s 6th team are also pushing for the top spot in their league. They go to Cambridge South 3rds on Saturday afternoon, and could be top of Division 4 North West on Saturday night with the right combination of results.
The remaining away games are:
– Men’s Vets away to Long Sutton
– Ladies 4ths away to Spilsby (at Skegness Grammar School).