Bethan Hodges is hopeful of a strong second half of the season with Holcombe to make it a double-promotion for Nick Bandurak’s side, with indoor promotion already secured under Richard Lane.
Hodges is a new signing from Southgate but has played in Holcombe’s last two Super 6s campaigns, with Lane’s side finishing as champions in 2024 after Beeston were punished for fielding an ineligible player.
Sister of Holcombe’s Robyn Hodges, Bethan is set to make her debut in this weekend’s double-header as Bandurak’s side prepare to restart their Division One South campaign against league leaders Surbiton 2s and Southgate.
Holcs sit third in the table currently, though have a game-in-hand on the top-two and are just three points behind second-placed Barnes with a superior goal difference. Second place could be enough for promotion with Surbiton 2s unable to be promoted.
Hodges said: “I’m super excited to get started with a new team, just from these last few training sessions I’m learning so much about the way we play.
“It’s very technical and tactical and it’s really exciting for me as a player. I’m just looking forward to the second half of the season, hopefully we can have some success.
“When you’re joining a new club, potentially making your debut in a hard game – I think – is probably the best way to get thrown straight into it.
“I think we have a real good chance of coming out on top in this league so we have to prove ourselves to the top contenders – that’s what we need to do.
“I think I’m probably more nervous for the Southgate game being my former club than the Surbiton one but I’m still really excited, I know they’ve been training super hard for this.
“It was a close contest in the first game of the season so I’m sure they’ll be raring to go, just like us on the other side of it.
“That exposure to knowing the girls from last season and then coming in this season, I’m not thrown straight into the deep end, I know a bit about how people want to play, the standards, where we’re at and the intensity we want to play with so it’s definitely helped me settle in at a new club.
“I think after a massive second weekend, we deserved what we got with the promotion and being back in the Premier Division is exactly where we want to be and what we were striving for.
“That’s the plan [when asked about promotion hopes]! I think it’s great to see the club have some success in indoor hockey and it’s also helped us build momentum for the second half of the season, it’s great – we definitely have a chance of getting straight back up.”
Hodges was excited to join the club for numerous reasons, none less than the chance to work with players like Bandurak and Hayden Phillips as coaches, both of whom recently helped their countries qualify for Paris 2024 – Great Britain’s matches shown on the BBC’s digital channels.
“It’s exciting to come in as a forward and have people like Nick Bandurak and Hayden Phillips as coaches to help us develop and watch us play.
“You want to have that in your coaches, it’s super exciting and there’s so much to learn from them.”
“There’s always a big push to keep promoting the hockey – the fact that the BBC have got more involved in it recently is such a big thing for the sport.
“As clubs, we can support that on social media and then equally it’s super exciting for us to be part of a changing movement and growth in hockey as a whole.”
Both of Holcombe’s matches this weekend start at 2pm – entry is free for both at Holcombe Park and updates will be provided across the club’s social media channels.
Image: Becci Woodhead