A cursory glance at the CSHC records shows Bhav Virdi, current L4s-L5s coach and M1s player leading the Naughty Step. Recording 4 yellow cards and 9 green is no mean feat across a span of 11 seasons, although a certain Mr Bailey may well surpass this in what will be only his 2nd season at South. You’d be forgiven for thinking that both individuals are rottweilers on and off the hallowed turf, that is Long Road. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Bhav [or Coach Bhav], who last year received his England Hockey Level 2 Coaching Award runs the club’s Back 2 Hockey sessions. These sessions, which cover all the basic skills, are critical to the club’s mission in bringing new players into the game and welcoming back returning ones; they’re also a great way of re-acquainting yourself with skills prior to the start of the season.
‘Try to trap the ball with an upright stick, if you can!’ he shouts as he has a new group of aspiring players perform a series of drills. It’s so important new players get a feel of the ball, how it moves, and especially being at Long Road, how it bounces. We’re trying to create confident hockey players and a big part of that is making sure players get plenty of touches of the ball. There is, of course, the camaraderie side of the club. Being part of a team that develops your skills is one thing; but being part of a club where you’ll meet people from all different backgrounds and make lifelong friends in the process is priceless. You’ll never meet a more sociable bunch of people.
Anyway, about Bhav. He’s actually super nice guy, renown for his hilarious in-game banter and a top, top coach.
Back 2 Hockey occurs on Thursday evenings at Long Road 6th Form College Astro - the home of Cambridge South Hockey Club, 7.30-8.30 from the 8th-29th August. These sessions are free for all to attend.