A National League Hockey Club, part of Holcombeians Sports Club

Match Preview – Holcombe Men vs. Reading

By Lucas Ball

Last season’s Premier Division runners-up Holcombe begin their 2023/24 campaign with a home match against Reading at 6pm on Saturday,  looking to kick off the new campaign with three points.

New signings Alex Pendle and Brad Read will both be involved for Barry  Middleton’s side, who have a Euro Hockey League campaign to contend with this season alongside their Premier Division fixtures.

Internationals Ollie Payne, Phil Roper, Nick Bandurak, Rhodri Furlong, Rob Field and Hayden Phillips all experienced a busy summer in the EuroHockey Championships at various levels and Olympic qualifiers respectively, with England’s men taking home a silver medal from the top tier of the European event.

Middleton’s side took six points from their opponents last season, winning 5-4 at Sonning Lane and 6-0 at Holcombe Park on their way to a place at Finals Weekend.

Tim Guise-Brown (2), Rob Field, Mo Mea, Bandurak and Tom Russell were all on the scoresheet in the home fixture for Holcombe, with Bandurak (2), Tom O’Keeffe, Phil Roper and Sam Taylor netting at Sonning Lane.

Reading, meanwhile, have made three additions to last season’s squad as they look to build on a sixth-placed finish in 2022/23.

Sam Armitage, Ben Hooper and Ben Mackey have all joined Jason Lee’s side, with Hooper and Mackey coming straight into the squad for their competitive Reading debuts this weekend.

Entry is free at Holcombe Park on Saturday, as well as for Holcombe’s other first-team fixtures across our men’s and women’s outfits.

Live updates of the match will also be available through our social media channels:

Facebook: Holcombe Hockey Club

Instagram: holcombehc

X: @HolcombeHC

Image: Theresa Field