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The Next Chapter – 2006 and Beyond

#*Men’s Section:# At the beginning of last season (2005-06) Holcombe published its plan for the forthcoming season with effectively two primary aims: For the Men’s 1st Team to establish itself within the English Hockey League Division 1, and To reduce the age profile of the top Men’s section teams so as to develop the skills of our young aspiring players. It is very pleasing to report that both of these targets were achieved comfortably and as we now enter another season of very tough competition we are much better placed to face the challenges ahead. Some positive changes to the initial coaching structure of last season saw Giles Osborne take on the Men’s 1st Team Coaching role and despite the difficult timing of his appointment, Giles settled into the role quickly and has grasped the challenge to lead the squad into fifth position in the League last season. The forthcoming season represents a significant challenge to the squad with a number of quality teams joining the league either via promotion from the leagues below or via relegation from the Premier League. However, the objectives will remain the same with the primary target of continuing to obtain more experience at this level in order to provide a stronger back bone for future successes. This successful development has occurred throughout the top four teams within the Men’s section, with the 2’s, 3’s and 3A’s all fielding less experienced sides last season. Whilst generally the results and league positions for these teams were slightly affected, the confidence and experience that the younger players developed over the season will undoubtedly see a rise in performance levels in the forthcoming season. Holcombe will continue to encourage anyone interested in joining the club and will endeavour to ensure that all players are given every opportunity to realise their potential via our fluid coaching and selection policies. Anyone interested in finding out more about Holcombe’s Men’s Section plans for the future or if you are interested in joining Holcombe, please contact our Director of Hockey #^mailto:mens@holcombehc.org.uk,Steve Haines#. #*Ladies Section:# Fuelled by league successes over the past two seasons our Ladies 1st Team are looking to continue their climb through the East League structure and this season will be competing in the East League Division 1 South for the first time. A slight change to the Ladies Coaching Staff will see Holcombe’s Director of Hockey, Steve Haines take on the Ladies 1st Team Coaching role for the forthcoming season whilst previous Coach Jon Gurney takes a rest from the weekend commitments to spend more time with his young family. As with the Men’s section development plans, the Ladies are also looking to encourage their younger performers to take on more responsibility and gain more experience at the top end of the club in order to lay the foundations for sustained club progression over the coming seasons. All coaching will be delivered to the Ladies section on Thursday evenings by appropriate Coaching Staff in order to ensure that the all club members are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, whatever their age or aspirations. The Ladies section are keen to encourage new players prior to the league season and anyone that is interested in finding out more about Holcombe Ladies future development plans should contact our Ladies Chairperson, #^mailto:ladies@holcombehc.org.uk,Karen Major #. #*Junior Section:# A common thread running through every Section at Holcombe Hockey Club is the Club’s commitment to ensuring that all Members are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, whatever their age or aspirations. By it’s very nature the Junior Section is fully committed to providing every Junior Player with the opportunity to acquire not only core skills, but with long-term development to support their individual aspirations. For the 2006/7 Season, the Junior Section will be introducing 6-week coaching cycles to maximise learning, provide structure to the sessions, and ensure progress through consistent coaching. This planned training will enable the Coaches to better assess the development of each age group, and where applicable individual players, and thereby ensure the effectiveness of time spent on the pitch each week. Steve Haines, our Director of Hockey, is demonstrating his support for this initiative by leading the first ‘Coach the Coaches’ on 10 September 2006. This will ensure that our Junior Players are fully integrated into the ambitious plans that drive Holcombe Hockey Club forward. Specialised coaching, supported by Senior Players and Coaches, will be introduced at appropriate stages during the Season to ensure young Goal Keepers, and higher ability field players, further enhance their skills. In order to transfer the core skills to playing situations, the coaching cycles will include junior competitions. These will be mini-hockey and skill contest events for Junior Players up to the age of 11, and a mixture of local and/or external competitions for Junior Players over 11. STIX SKILLS will also be introduced later in the Season. Team Managers will once more be appointed for the Teams entered into Junior Leagues and Cup Competitions. A further innovation will be the introduction of Junior Umpire coaching. All Junior Players need to know the Rules of Hockey relevant to their stage of development, and out of this knowledge it is expected that the Junior Section will provide the Club with a flow of confident new Umpires in the Seasons ahead. Whilst the Junior Section enjoys the services of several dedicated Junior Coaches and Assistants, we are actively looking for Senior Players and Parents to participate in our ambitious programme. To find out how you can contribute to the development of the Junior Section, on or off the pitch, come to the Club on 10 September 2006 or contact Lawrie O’Keeffe. If you want to be a part of the Junior Section, or attend a ‘taster’ session, please contact our Director of Junior Hockey #^mailto:juniors@holcombehc.org.uk,Lawrie O’Keeffe#.

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