Wimbledon Hockey Club face a baptism of fire - but that's a good thing... (From Richmond and Twickenham Times)
Contact us: Got a photo? Text 'SLPICS' to 80360. Got a story? Call the newsdesk: 020 8744 4260
Wimbledon Hockey Club face a baptism of fire - but that's a good thing...
Wimbledon Hockey Club player-coach Ben Marsden insisted the baptism of fire that awaits his team this weekend is a good thing.
The Dons start their first ever season in the MHL Premier Division on Saturday by hosting champions Beeston at Kings College School (2pm).
Moreover, after a trip to Cannock on September 22, the Dons face last year’s runner-up Surbiton, fourth-placed Reading and third-placed Canterbury one after the other.
Marsden said: “It is as if the moons collided and everything is against us, but it can work in our favour.
“If you have what people would call easier sides at the beginning, you may put in performances that look good relatively speaking and think you’ve made it, but then you get hit for six by the big teams.
“At least this way we’re up against the best the league has to offer straight away, we’ll have to work out what works and what doesn’t work, and remedy that in training.
“Then hopefully when we come up against teams who are not having a great time, we’ll be at the right tempo to punish them.”
Marsden has moved to strengthen the squad with the recruitment of four England internationals, who featured in the recent fourth-place finish in the EuroHockey Championships in Belgium.
Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Alastair Brogdon and Phil Roper have swelled the ranks along with Gils Muller-Ruhlandt and Thomas Zilkens from Germany, and Sam Mee from Olton & West Warwicks.
Leaving the club are Chris Pryce (work commitments), Steven Richardson (personal commitments) and Peter Swainson (to Oxted).
Marsden said: “It is a nice change to have such great competition for places and we have real strength in depth.
“But we’re being realistic in our targets this season. All we can really do is make sure we are as fit as we can possibly be, and that we’re ready for each game.
“Finishing in the top half would be a dream, but a mid-table position is more realistic.”
The Wimbledon women’s Conference East campaign kicks off on Saturday with a trip to Holcombe (6pm).
Champions: Wimbledon celebrate clinching promotion to the Premier Division last season
Comments are closed on this article.