Recognised as Athletic Union Club of the year 2007 – 2008, the unrelentingly successful Nottingham University Men’s Hockey Club (NUMHC) return to BUCS (BUSA) action this October, hoping to rejuvenate the triumph and glory that was enjoyed throughout the club last season. Here at Impact Sport we have raided the store cupboard, polished off our spotlight and fixed our perilous gaze onto the club; unearthing the hopes and expectations of the Men’s Hockey Club for the 2008 – 2009 season.
Representing one of the largest sports clubs in the AU, NUMHC field five highly competitive sides every Wednesday with each team performing in the highest league possible for their specific tier. The ferocity of competition presents a steep challenge to every NUMHC side, but expectations are particularly high for the 1st XI, who compete in the BUCS Northern Premier League. 1st XI Captain Dan Fox admits the heightened pressure of this years campaign, following a disappointing end to last season, which culminated in a 3 – 1 loss to Nottingham Trent during the Varsity series. But Fox believes his troops are ready for battle, “This year promises to be a great challenge given the league that we are in. We have a fantastic squad and have had an influx of extremely talented freshers and so we look forward to the forthcoming season with great anticipation! We have always been able to compete at the top level despite the fact other clubs boast an array of internationals and receive upwards of 10 times more funding than we do. This year we have convinced Welsh senior international Dominic Graham to coach us and look forward to what he will bring to the side from a coaching aspect!”
A glimpse at the Northern Premier fixture list reveals how tough competition will remain throughout the year, with opponents such as Loughborough, Birmingham and Trent fielding a host of budding international players, including Olympians Ali Wilson and Alistair McGregor who both competed for team GB in Beijing earlier this year. With such an impressive standard of opposition, games against the lesser sides of Leeds and Durham will prove crucial in shaping the 1st XI’s bid to remain amongst the nation’s hockey elite during 2009-2010.