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Girls Hockey Season Review - Michaelmas 2019

Overview

This term has been a fantastic one for the Girls’ Hockey programme at Hill House, with lots of players representing at the many different age groups across both the Junior and Senior School. Training has been filled with high levels of energy; the focus being around both skills development and team game play. With the aim of “stretching” individuals and helping their decision-making through small-sided games, we have seen a lot of success (and learning) during our many fixtures.

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.

There are still a number of girls participating in hockey after the New Year and we wish them all the best. The U11s and U13s will be competing in the South Yorkshire round of the In2Hockey tournament, hosted at our school on January 24th 2020, with the aim of progressing through to the North West round later in the term. Unfortunately, our fixtures in both the U18 and U16 competition for the England Hockey School’s Cup have ended, but they will be  supporting the U11s and U13s during the Lent Term! More information to come, updates will be sent out on Twitter (@HillHouseHockey), supporters are always welcome!

Under 9 (Miss Barnes)

The U9s have hit the ground running with their hockey, and so many of the pupils are now confident to play in matches against other schools. Every player seems to have improved their skills with the ball, their ability to carry to space, and their range of pass to other teammates further up the pitch. In their matches, the teams have scored many goals on their smaller pitches, shown a willingness to attack, and look an exciting prospect for the future.

Under 10 (Miss Naylor)

The U10s have had an excellent term of competitive hockey. They have grown in confidence, skill and tactical awareness throughout the season and their commitment has been superb. Everyone in the year has represented the school, and the highlights were the A team winning the St.Anselm’s tournament, and a large 7-1 win over Hymers in the last game of the season (a testament to their progress). They have been a delight to coach, thank you all for your efforts.

Under 11 (Miss Barnes & Mr Marsh)

The Year 6 girls have made good progress this year. Noticeably, teams around them have grown in size and strength, and the quality of the opposing teams has definitely proved more of a challenge this year than last. Highlights have been against Cundall Manor with a fantastic performance away from home, and Silcoates away as well. The girls need to continue to work as a team next year if they are to have more success; passing and communication are also key areas to work on.

The Under 11B Team has been a pleasure to coach this term. They have progressed beautifully as a unit and their skills are improving. In training, they listen to instructions and work together to develop as one team. In matches, I have been particularly pleased to see how they have upped their work rate to compete at a higher level; they all now understand that tackling back is key and using space is fundamental in ensuring an attacking style of play. The coaching staff have often commented on how this year group are a talented group of girls on the hockey pitch and certainly one to watch for the future.

It will be very exciting to see how this age group do in the In2Hockey tournament after the Christmas holidays.

The following players have been chosen to receive their Year 6 Sporting Colours;

Connie Crowther, Isabel Davies, Jess Eggitt

Under 12 (Miss Dodds)

This year the U12s have had a fantastic start to senior school hockey. The extensive fixture list has provided a real mixed bag of results; however, the real achievement has been the skill development and game understanding of all pupils involved in the programme. The hockey principles they have been focusing on this term is the ability to find connections with team mates going forward, ball retention and defending the circle. Throughout the term, individuals have made major strides forward in developing their own personal games, whilst also helping others improve along the way. All pupils' attitude to learning has been fantastic and they are a credit to the school.

The whole year group have had the opportunity to represent the school, with A to C team matches on offer to the students. It has been fantastic to see everyone involved and enjoying their hockey! During the matches, there has been a whole host of outstanding performances with many goals scored - wins over Worksop College and Mount St Mary’s were particular highlights. A fixture against a strong Trent College side provided a further challenge for the girls, and despite the result, the girls showed great character and a willingness to learn from their mistakes and come back stronger.

Under 13 (Mr Ross)

The U13s have been a pleasure to coach. Each individual pupil is motivated to develop and learn which has led to many pupils moving up into B and A teams. This will be a big advantage moving into 11aside next year.

This season, when looking at the results, the A team have had a 50-50 year. However, the results do not reflect the standard of play. The team plays with tenacity, speed and aggression; and have added the ability to score goals! The defence have improved greatly to care more for the ball, looking to carry forward to space before making a pass to a teammate higher up the pitch. The midfield are happy to carry, but need to continue to work on their 2-touch “dream” hockey.

The B team have been extremely successful this term, winning most of their games and scoring over 50 goals in the process. Every player has worked hard for those around them, shown great determination to improve, and stepped up into the A team when needed. Miss Naylor has thoroughly enjoyed coaching the team, and thanks all for their efforts.

The C and D teams have progressed extremely well, improving their skills and never giving up throughout their games. All the girls put 100% effort into each game, regardless of what position or team they are in, and they are a credit to themselves and the school.

Many of this age group are trialling for both South Yorkshire and North East representative honours, so we wish them luck and support throughout the process: stay focused, work hard, and show your skills.

Under 14 (Miss Barnes)

The U14s have had a roller-coaster season. Excluding the away trip to Cundall Manor, it was a slow start to the season, with some poor results and players finding their feet in new positions for 11aside hockey.

The turning point was the team bonding and matches in Holland. The team made excellent progress on tour. On their return to England, they went from strength to strength. They won the County tournament with some help from the U13s, with them all progressing through to the North West round and the North finals in Leeds. Reaching the semi-final, they were a whisker away from the National Finals, missing out via penalty shuffles to a determined fellow Yorkshire opposition. A dream for another day perhaps. Well done for their huge progress this year though, training with intensity and commitment throughout.

Huge congratulations to both Felicity Taylor-Peck and Maisie Ayton-Nicholls for gaining a place in the England Hockey U15 Yorkshire Performance Centre, based at the school. Both will be working hard during the Player Pathway programme to improve their skills, and gain a place in the Pennine Pumas team in July 2020. Best of luck!

Under 15​ (Mr Shipston)

A delightful group of girls who are committed to playing and have fun whilst they do so. Their structural and tactical awareness grows with every game and they have the drive and athleticism to put new ideas into practice. Their growing confidence to carry the ball and not get flustered in possession has led to some lovely passages of play, although at times finishing in front of goal can still be a difficult task to achieve.

Significant wins this term have been away against Lincoln Minster and St Peter's where dominant displays could have resulted in an even greater amount of goals scored, and with a little more composure under pressure. Many of the squad have also represented the under 16s in their Cup run this term, and I am sure many will be pushing for 1st XI places next year if they maintain their current rate of progress.

Second Team (Mr Holland)

The 2XI team has made good progress this year, although factors outside our control have at times had an effect; a number of schools have not been able to raise a 2nd team to fulfil their fixture with us, and on occasion we have found ourselves pitted against school 1st XIs, against whom we have raised our game significantly.

That said, we have seen many good results on a number of occasions in very tight matches. One positive this season is the continued movement of players up into the First Team, with many showing improvements and given the opportunity to play at a higher level, thus strengthening the senior hockey programme as a whole. A number of 2nd XI players have also been in excellent form for the Cup run of the U16 team. Well done to all involved and many thanks to the Upper Sixths who have led the team so well.

First Team (Mr Ross)

This term was one of the most exciting ones shown by the Performance players of our hockey programme, with the First Team playing a style of hockey that was thrilling to watch, and which led to some very impressive wins against other strong schools in Yorkshire. With the team filled with players who were happy to carry to space, pass quickly up the pitch, and link around the circle to create scoring opportunities, the quality of performance increased greatly. The team scored in every game, gained a number of clean sheets, and bonded well over the term. With more focus around specific training and set piece work, the players can continue to take the programme to completely new levels.

With so many good performances and results, a few should be highlighted; the 7-0 win at Yarm was a brilliant display of hockey, the 1-0 battle at Denstone showed grit and determination, and the ease to wins against Mount St.Mary’s and Ampleforth were great to see. Well done to all those who stepped up, especially the Y11 pupils who shone at this level, and thanks to all the parents who came and supported.

Special mention must go to Daisy Bennett for her selection into the England Hockey U16s National Age Group Squad. Not only does she have the speed and skills to shine at the highest levels, but her determination and calmness are traits that are fantastic to work with, and we wish her every bit of luck and support in her quest to gain many International caps.

Congratulations also to Grace Thomas for gaining a place in the England Hockey U17 Yorkshire Performance Centre, based at the school. Grace will train and compete throughout the nine-month programme to try and gain a place on the Pennine Pumas U17 team in July 2020. Good luck Grace.

Thanks goes to the players on the Leadership Team, led by our captain Amelia Bishop. She has been honest and open throughout, represented the team through some challenges, and taken the programme to a better place. Amelia has given us a strong defensive leadership at the back of the team, stopping many shots on target, and outletting well throughout the matches. Her voice and influence both on and off the pitch has been a real asset, and we wish her well for her next chapter of hockey.

The following players have been chosen this term to receive their Sports Ties for services to Hill House Sport;

Eve Bishop, Fiona Bruce, Isabel Kell, Grace Thomas

The following players have been chosen to receive their Senior HALF Sporting Colours for Hockey;

Daisy Bennett, Eleanor Kidney, Hannah Park, Sophie Parkinson

The following players have been chosen to receive their Senior FULL Sporting Colours for Hockey;

Amelia Bishop, Jess Dook, Grace Sanderson