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Boys Hockey Season Review - Lent Term 2018

This term has seen a major step forward for the Boys Hockey programme at Hill House, with many players representing the School at all age groups. Those involved have learnt key coaching points around attacking and defensive play, outletting, and goal scoring! The Junior School have improved their abilities to carry the ball to space, find passes, and offer options off the ball. The Senior School have gone further, looking at team dynamics and formations, and working towards keeping possession and building pressure on the opposition.

Huge thanks to all the coaches, teachers, administrators, and ground staff; they have been fantastic and worked hard during terrible weather conditions to allow us all to play hockey, both home and away, safely and in the “right way”. Many thanks also to the parents and supporters who have attended games and driven their children to the various fixtures and training sessions; it makes a huge difference that often goes without recognition, and I thank you so much for enabling your children to enjoy our sport.

The future is very exciting, the pupils have represented the school well, and I know that they will continue to build a programme that others will look at in awe.

Under 9 (Mr Marsh)

I have been impressed with everyone who has played hockey for the Under 9 teams this term. All boys have had a chance to represent the school and there are many who have grasped this opportunity with both hands. All of the boys are getting used to handling a stick and playing on astroturf. We were lucky enough to participate in a triangular tournament at St. Peter’s before half term. All of the boys played with enthusiasm and, although it showed that we have work to do, there is plenty of potential, with certain players standing out. 

A special mention must go to Henry Leggott for his hard work, always listening to advice and acting on it – he will be an excellent player, and even a leader, in the future. Also, Kieran Davies has improved so much during the course of the season. He also works really hard on improving his skills and is the work-horse of the team.

 There certainly is hope for the future of hockey at Hill House. Well done Under 9s, it was a pleasure coaching you.

Under 10 (Mr Shakesheff)

A large group of enthusiastic and talented players that have embraced the challenges of the game, working hard to develop and improve their basic skills within a very short period of time, with limited training and match play. They have had some success in matches across their games, but whether win, lose or draw, have shown team spirit and good improvement. A positive season with a good opportunity for further development and success in the future. Well done!

Under 11 (Mr Ross)

This year has been a tough one for the Year 6 boys, mainly due to a lack of fixtures and terrible weather. What every pupil has shown is a desire to improve, listen, learn, and help their classmates along the way. I am very pleased with the way the players have adapted to some new ideas, taking on board the key aspects of the training sessions, and then trying them in gameplay. Everybody has asked questions along the way and reflected on their learning, and I need to make special mention of those who played in the In2Hockey competition after half term. They improved with every game, learning from the last one, and reducing the deficit each time. I know that they are a better team for the experience and will transition well into the Senior School. 

Special mentions for Michael Bibawy, Thomas Osborne, Myles Reid, Elliot Vernon and Hussain Waseem – all have applied themselves fantastically throughout training and improved dramatically. Their positive energy and improved focus is a credit to their work rate and effort. 

The following players will be presented with their Sporting Colours; Scott Jackson and Harry Oldham.

Under 12 (Mr Ross)

Without doubt one of the most talented year groups for the sport within the school, I am very much looking forward to seeing how all of the pupils will improve and development within the hockey programme. The energy and enthusiasm across this group is infectious, everybody is always focused and keen to learn from one another, and the most pleasing aspect is the positive feedback that everybody is starting to give one another. The teams have focused on their “triple F” gameplay well and keep growing around their defensive principles, something that has allowed them to compete and beat other strong schools. This has led to many goals, and a fair few clean sheets.

There are so many key moments during this season; the FIVE goals of Simon Blanchard at Silcoates School, the attacking link play between Isaac Sprenger/Jacob Fairclough/Nathaniel Ebden/Nathaniel Wilkes, the leadership shown by James Barnsdale-Black for the B team, or the “everything on the line” approach to defending by Henry Heeson. Archie Watson has been the Player of the Season for this age group (closely followed by Fawwaz Anjum) as his attacking play to space has led to so many outstanding team goals. But the stand out moment must be the away Saturday fixture at Ratcliffe College, when their umpire just asked “what is he?” as Henry Holland made another world-class save to keep the score respectable.

Well done everybody, you have been an absolute joy to coach and I am very much looking forward to seeing where you take the teams next year.

Under 13 (Mr Shipston)

The under 13 boys have made significant progress this term and their skills and tactical awareness have advanced since the first game of the season. Their ball carrying and passing are more confident and as a result creating numerous goal scoring chances, in some exciting and adventurous hockey - the key area is now more aggressive defending both as individuals and as a group. The A team saw notable wins against Hymers 6-3, Hall Cross 8-0 and a characterful comeback against Pocklington 5-3 after being 3-2 down at half time. Several boys have represented the A squad which bodes well for 11 a side next year.   The B squad shows there is real strength in depth and the squad trained hard and recorded some very pleasing results, such as wins against Hymers and Pocklington. I would like to commend all boys who have played this term for their enthusiasm, sportsmanship and dedication.

The following players will be presented with their Sporting Colours; Rocco Cook, Joe Eves, Kian Tamjidi and Dan Norton.

Under 14 (Mr Ross and Mr Holland)

The most improved age group of the Boys Hockey Programme, we have seen huge developments across both individuals and the team. Training has allowed all to reflect, improve, and feedback to both peers and coaches, with honest communication throughout. It has been testing at times, but many of the players have taken the feedback on board and improved in all aspects of the hockey programme. 

Special mentions must go to the following people; James Burley is very good at this level, and we look forward to supporting him to a higher representative level whilst also wearing the Hill House School colours. Camran Cassar, Ben Norton and Dan Clegg have been positive influences on the pitch and shown good leadership qualities off it. Dominic Crawford and Mackenzie Alexander-Smith are two talented goalkeepers at this level, with both making very good saves, on English and Dutch soil, and will be defensive rocks over many years to come.

Huge congratulations to both Siyar Pekin and Christopher Tang for being the most improved players at this age group. Siyar has attended training throughout the term and practiced his skills, whilst Christopher has kept focus in Games sessions and tried new techniques. 

We look forward to arranging fixtures for both A and B teams next season for the new U15s and see how they perform against other schools.

Under 15 (Mr Shakesheff)

A frustrating term for the U15s this year. They have had the opportunity to train but have had limited opportunity to show their abilities in games due to cancellations and the weather. When they have played they have shown a willingness to adapt their play as a team leading to a marked improvement in their play, making them a lot more challenging as an opposition.  Further development will offer excellent opportunities for success in the future. A few of the team have also had the opportunity to play for the School 1st team and have fitted in well to this squad. 

During training, the U15s suggested and were supported to create the Year 10 Development League; a pupil-led league to create equal teams that would play against their peer groups.  After many tough matches, and some high scoring games, the winners of this terms A League were Forenite FC. Congratulations to all those involved, and special thanks to Jay McGrath for his leadership and input throughout.   

The following players will be presented with their Sporting Colours; Andrey Avetov, Phil Dewey, Jay McGrath and George Rowland.

First Team (Mr Ross)

What started out as a large group of potential players slowly reduced down to a focused team; a group of people willing to apply themselves to new ideas and represent the school with hard work and effort. Application and commitment has grown over the weeks, with improvements both on and off the pitch, and I was very encouraged to see how the team played in their final game against Silcoates School. 

Some fantastic stand out performances occurred during the year, but special mention must go to the end-to-end encounter against Lincoln Minster at the start of term, finishing in a 2-2 draw but which could have been 7 goals to each team. 

Many thanks to all those who have applied themselves so well. Josh Cotgreave and Jack Thomas have been an ever presence up front, causing real issues to many defences, and the defensive links between Alex Wilcox, Ewan Mears, and Oliver Woodcock have been standout at times. Gianni Capozzoli has captained well and grown in the role, willing to reflect and develop throughout, and I have been pleased to see the positive changes with each training session.

Unfortunately, he will have to wait a year to potentially get his Hockey Colours, but a special mention must go to Oliver Woodcock for his positive energy and approach to this season. There is still a lot to develop technically in his game, but Oliver has been willing to step up and lead throughout this term, and it has been very much appreciated by all of the coaches involved. Well done Oliver.

The following players will be presented with their HALF Sporting Colours; Gianni Capozzoli, Rajan Dhaliwal and Sam Flower.