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To play or not to play? That is the question
Answer = Wait. Start. Pause …then who knows?
Cambridge South HC – the 2020-2021 season so far

2019-20 was just a dream, wasn’t it? 3 championships, 4 promotions, 10 'highest evers', and a sinister video of a bloke in bed in a CSouth shirt. What about this season so far?

  • 3 teams in pole position at the top of their leagues. L2, M3, L5. Respect!
  • 2 more teams in regular leagues (L6, M6), and yet another new team born, L6x
  • Or rather two new teams born. Thank you COVID team keeping us sanitised and safe
  • 120+ Juniors from U6 to U14, including 6 now in County squads

It feels like we hardly started the season, but already 112 games have been played. How do our leaders sum this up for each team...

L1 ( Kim Cooil) - 5th in Division 1N [debut appearance at this level]

Ladies 1s have had a really positive start to our campaign in Division 1. We have won 3, drawn 1 and lost 2. We have had moments of glory - beating St Neots from 2-0 down, moments of frustration, losing our own 2-0 lead against Dragons to draw 2-2 and lessons learnt- losing heavily to should be prem side Norwich City. Our aim is to remain in division 1, hopefully in the mid-table region. Girls have worked hard and have gained much more confidence.

M1 (Harry Chalk) - 9th in Division 1 [previous best: 5th in ’19-‘20]

The M1s have played some cracking hockey this season, developing from being a team who disrupt and counter to one which has a lot more of the ball. With this comes new challenges and results have been a mixed bag so far. It’s all very promising, so sort out our woes on the road and we’ll soon be climbing up the table. Great to see new boys Ed, Jack & Tim settling in, with old timer Mark Williams top of the scoring charts! Thanks gents for your hard work so far, and thanks to all who keep the club running.

L2 (Dani Arnold) - 1st in Division 3NW [previous best: 8th in Division 3S, ’19-‘20]

What can I say - the L2s have had a cracking start to the season this autumn! Although the first game did not go our way, we’ve really pulled together and worked hard as a team (despite being unlucky with the rainy weather at training!) to get great results in our games since our first game. The challenge to come is to keep building on our results and (I’m sure like other teams) not let the lockdown interrupt our game.  We’ve yet to play the teams positioned second and fourth in the league so all is to play for when hockey resumes!

M2 (James Menzies) - 6th in Division 3NW [previous best: 4th in ’19-‘20]

Two wins, two draws, two losses. The M2s continue to barrel around Div 3NW like a benevolent Robin Hood taking points off the stronger teams, and donating them to the needy, often Lincolnshire-based clubs. The 2s have inherited their own Friar Tuck from Walden in the form of Tom Crump who has sharpened up our attack, and we're indebted to Tom 'Maid Marion' Marchant for missioning it down from Derbyshire every week, as well as new fathers Chris Walsh and Jim Hockley for defying sense, logic and the threats of their wives to still turn out for us . The Robin Hood metaphor probably ends there as I can't remember any more of the characters, however, it's a pleasure to have been able to play with this merry band, and I look forward, when the season restarts, to maddening March, lacerating Long Sutton, and ideally missing Louth away as it really is stupidly far away. Just totally unnecessary.

L3 ( Lucy Bedford) - 11th in Division 3NW [debut appearance at this level]

We have a great bunch of girls in our team, formed of half veterans and half newly integrated players.

Taking time to settle as a team, whilst also being in a new league has meant we were unfortunately a little late off the starting blocks. However, as we've grown and really gelled over the past few weeks, it's become clear that we're very much moving in the right direction.

We love our family team spirit and drive and feel these attributes will ensure we stay in this league (where we definitely belong!)

M3 (Connor Grant) - 1st in Division 4NW [previous best: 5th in ’19-‘20]

Looking back on the season so far I couldn't be happier-33 goals in 6 games and top of the league. Its been a tricky year with a lot of movement between the sides but everyone has buckled down and worked hard to make it happen, special shout out to Nev and Sam for their coaching so far this season!

Looking ahead if we do get back on the pitch I expect us to hit the ground running. Everyone wants this promotion now and we arent going to give it up easily. My goal would be to hit 100 goals if we do play all the remaining games this season!

L4 (Emily Stevenson) - 8th in Division 4NW(s) [debut appearance at this level]

The L4s have made a good start to life in the dizzying heights of 4NW(S). Having held Cambridge City to a draw and only narrowly falling to defeat Shefford and Sandy (both away to sides sit top of the league), it shows that the L4s are capable of competing in this league. A couple of victories post lockdown should move us to a more deserved position.  Ginny’s hit sessions in Coleridge park and our commitment to the plank challenge has us in good shape.

Most importantly we’ve been able to settle into a more consistent squad after a lot of moving around initially and even in our losses we are displaying excellent positivity and determination to always come back fighting in the next game.

M4 (James Hayes) - 5th in Division 5NW [previous best: 4th in ’19-‘20]

M4s have had a shaky start to the season; a number of players have come down from the 3s and we're not quite meshing and playing to our full strength. Lockdown 2: Electric Boogaloo came at the wrong time just as we were finding some form and playing well on and off the ball. Hopefully we don't forget how to play hockey and can get back to the full swing of things next year/time.

L5 (Nicole Mills) - 1st in Division 5NW(s) [previous best: 6th in ’19-‘20]

The L5s have hit the ground running. Top of the league; 26 (scored by 10 different people) to 4 goal difference. And all without our usual half time Percy pigs! We’ve had a thoroughly enjoyable (and eventful) first quarter, with an ever-changing line up due to the enthusiasm of existing players and a steady stream of newbies keeping the captains on their toes!

Memorable moments so far include an accidental trip to Chelmsford (Claudia was getting her Essex road trip in, pre-tier 2 status) some Root-worthy cricket moves from Polly and a gate-crashed Evangelical service en route to the pitch -to name just a few.

If we can maintain this enthusiasm and ever-increasing confidence as a team, I expect we have a pretty good shot at the 5NW(S) trophy

M5 (Sean Gardiner / James Hartley) - 6th in Division 5NW [debut appearance at this level]

The M5s have had a great season so far. Sure, there have been a couple of losses, a few teams just squeaking past us. But there have been more awesome wins, with excellent play from the whole team, from veterans like 4-3-3 aficionado and top scorer Rob B, younger players like Thomas G and Alec A., and newcomers like Ben Dawson.

And really, in the end, we won the only game that mattered. Look out 4s - the lockdown won’t last forever, and when the hockey is back on you had better be ready for round 2!

L6 (Louise Walker) -8th in Division 5NW(s) [debut competitive season]

Enter Cambridge South Ladies 6ths: Another new team formed to accommodate the ever increasing numbers of players. We've played all our games with energy, enthusiasm and joy, maintaining positive energy and commitment up to the final whistle, whatever the scoreline. The L6s are beginning to gel as a team and play with increased confidence in ourselves and each other. If we get a full(ish) season I believe we have the potential to equal or beat the league position achieved by the 5s last season (6th), but the number 1 priority is to keep playing and enjoying our hockey.

M6 (Andy Thomas) – 6th in Division 6NW(s) [debut competitive season]

Another new league team is born, and is holding its own in Div 6, enjoying the hockey, welcoming newcomers, competing well. We are a blend of old and new faces, and are grateful for the support of other teams filling in the gaps sometimes at very short notice. We’ve won about half the games so far, with good communication on pitch, working as a unit. It would be great to see more faces at training to help progress the team. Of course, I’m pleased to have my almost impeccable lemon streak ( 8 out of 9 games ), beaten only by Jan on the first game at Stortford “for no reason”

Juniors (Kendra Seed)

The Juniors have had a fantastic start to the season. With the juggling of training, the U16s have joined up with Senior teams and are making their presence known on the score sheets.

Saturday mornings have seen the introduction of the very youngest Cambridge South members - the mighty U6s. Although some training is lost due to discovering worms on the pitch, spontaneous drinks breaks/playdates and giggle fits, they are working hard to learn the basic skills of hockey and are a joy to coach.

We haven't managed to organise external matches yet this season because of the coronavirus, but instead enjoyed a wonderful morning of hockey during half term with a series of intra-club matches at U10, U12 and U14 level. Half term also saw a number of our players attend hockey camps, including one run at Long Road by our very own Dave Grammer, which was a tremendous success. We were thrilled to see the highest ever number of Cambridge South Juniors attend the Cambridgeshire Academy Trials, from which SIX have made it into County Squads.

This term we are also starting a programme to develop U18 coaches and Umpires, with U18s helping to coach and umpire the younger players alongside more experienced members of the club. Thank you to them, and to a wonderful team of coaches & the Junior Committee who give up so much time to facilitate hockey for these young players.

The pandemic and Lockdown(s) have made it a strange season, but we have got to thank all the captains, vice-captains, coaches, umpires, coordinators, and Committee stalwarts for immense efforts and flexibility with changing match timings and venues, safety arrangements, influx of new players, squad changes, pitch time limitations…

I dream of…

  • Being able to do a reverse stick shot. You’re a great coach, George, but that might be a challenge too far
  • Fortress Long Road echoing to the cheers of clubmates willing on other teams to glory
  • An additional pitch. Don’t worry, we’re working on it
  • Actually playing hockey again before Christmas….2020