Category Archives: Academy News

Whitchurch Hockey Academy – starting again 26th September 2020

Message from Alex Fry, Chairman, Whitchurch Hockey Club

I hope you and your families are all well.  We’ve been cautiously getting hockey back up and running in recent weeks, starting with senior training, and over the next few weekends our first matches.
I’m pleased to say that we are now looking at Academy sessions, with the aim of starting from Saturday September 26th, in our normal 10-11.30am slot.  Apologies for the length of this email, but please take the time to read it carefully!
With hockey being classed as a so-called ‘Covid-secure’ activity, England Hockey have set out clear guidelines and procedures which we need to follow in order to deliver sessions in the current circumstances.  Most of these are common-sense precautions around social distancing and hygiene measures, but they are also running a contact-tracing service, which means that anyone taking part needs to be registered with England Hockey, so that any infections that do occur are recorded, and others participating in their sessions can be notified.
Our new club secretary, Anna Latham, has taken on the role of Covid Officer in order to ensure compliance, and we complete risk assessments for all of the sessions we run.
Due to the additional constraints and extra workload, our plan is to open Saturday Academy sessions to all Junior players – i.e. anyone under 16 who is not participating in Senior hockey.  (In general, we encourage players who are 13 and over to get involved in Senior hockey, but recognise that some players are not yet confident enough for this.)  For the foreseeable future we will not be running additional Junior sessions on Wednesday evenings, but will try to cater for as many over 13s as possible within our Senior sessions.
To get started, we need to establish how many juniors will be attending, and start the process of registration.  So, if you are interested in your children attending Academy, please complete the following two steps:
1.  Register each child with England Hockey using the link below – if your child is already involved in county hockey, you can also register them for this activity at the same time:
(We will be able to see the list of registered players via our Covid Officer’s access, so you don’t need to forward the confirmation email you will receive.)
2.  Email to confirm that you have registered your child(ren) and to let us know you would like them to participate in Academy sessions.
If there is sufficient interest and no changes in the current England Hockey and government guidelines, we will be in touch to confirm the start of Academy sessions and provide details of the specific procedures we will be following.
Finally, Crewe Vagrants are still hoping to run their Sunday junior tournaments this season, and we have been invited to take part on the dates below.  However, we will definitely need some additional support in order to organise and run teams at these events, so please let me know if you would be happy to volunteer to help with any of the age groups.
U8 + U10
4th Oct 2020
1st Nov 2020
17th Jan 2021
7th Feb 2021U12

11th Oct 2020
15th Nov 2020
24th Jan 2021
21st Feb 2021
18th Oct 2020
22nd Nov 2020
31st Jan 2021
28th Feb 2021
I hope that’s all clear, but if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email or call me to discuss, and especially if you are not sure whether your child should be attending Academy or Senior sessions, and for more information on what we’re doing on Wednesday evenings.
I look forward to hearing from you, and getting hockey back underway for all our junior players!

Alex Fry
Chair, Whitchurch HC
07770 623471

Keep up to date with all the latest information on the website

Shropshire Hockey Academy Centre programme for 2018-19

The Development Centres in June/July saw about 120 players attending across 6 centres in the county. Many of these players were new to Development Centres. The provisional Academy Centre programme is attached and also has details of how new players should register.

  • U17 is for those born in 02; U16 is for those born in 03; U15 is for those born in 04
  • U14 is for those born in 05; U13 is for those born in 06, 07, 08

So in summary,

  • U13 girls will have a 3 week coaching and assessment programme at Meole Brace from 6 to 8 pm starting on Thurs 13 September. Cost £42 for 3 weeks or £30 for those who attended the summer DC. Pay on first session.
  • For all ages of boys – Pre-Season AC coaching Sun 16th September at Shrewsbury School. Cost £5 pay on day.
  • 10am to 12.00  for U13 and U14s;   12 to 2.00pm for U15 U16 U17
  • For all ages of girls (except U13) – Pre-Season AC coaching Sun 16th September at Meole Brace. Cost £5 pay on day.
  • 11.30 to 1.15 for U15 U16 U17;    1.15 to 3.00pm for U14
  • Sun 7th October AC assessment and coaching for all age groups of boys and U15 U16 U17 girls. Cost will be reflected in AC Season fees.
  • Thurs 3rd October U14 girls assessment and coaching at Meole Brace from 6 to 8 pm Cost will be reflected in AC Season fees.

All new players who have not registered with England hockey before must register with Shropshire on the England Hockey Player Pathway System (PPS) by clicking the link below

Please Select Shropshire Development Centre Summer 18 Boys / Girls, from there we will then be able to allocate you to the correct squad for the 18/19 season.

This system is fully GDPR compliant and will give us all the necessary parental consents and emergency contact numbers which will be securely held. It will also inform us of who and how many players are going to be attending.

Thank you all.

If you have any queries please contact me, 07941 444037 or

John Beckett ( Boys ) 07814 518615

Shropshire Hockey Academy Centre programme for 2018-19

#shropshirehockey #hockeydevelopment

Match Reports 10/03/18

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 7 – Keele University Men’s 1s 4

Whitchurch returned to action after some weather- and transport-related cancellations with a home game against Keele University 1s, and were able to field a good side, and it gave Whitchurch a good base from which to work. The Reds put the pressure on Keele from the start, prepared for a similar tough start to the game as for the away fixture, and the positive attitude paid dividends with much of the possession going the way of the Whitchurch team.

A short corner call went in Whitchurch’s favour, and Jon Chappell opened the scoring with a good strike past the keeper. Another penalty corner followed shortly after and a well-worked routine came across to Jack Barnes who was also able to sweep the ball past the Keele keeper. At the other end of the pitch, the defence were able to mark their players well, with Matt Brookes and James Partington out wide and Dulson holding the middle. Dulson’s skill and experience showed, with numerous tackles and a superb piece of skill with a flick on the move launching the ball all the way to the Keele 23 line where Jon Chappell was unlucky to be blocked by the keeper.

Rob Chappell, Alex Fry, Ben Fry and Tom Leonard held the centre of the pitch and moved the ball well, combining with Barnes on the left and Ben Kimberley on the right, and the pressure paid off again with another short corner routine with a “Dambusters” shot from Leonard bouncing its way over everyone’s sticks to get the third for Whitchurch. However, Keele were not to be denied when they intercepted another loose pass and a breakaway saw them get the ball to a striker in the dee whose flick beat Partington’s stick and Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh’s pads and gloves on its way into the net to take the score to 3-1 at half time.

The second half was a much more even affair, with some end-to-end play and each team taking it in turn to score: Jon Chappell scored three in the half to continue his excellent record for the season, with each coming from open play and the ball being moved around at speed and with accuracy in the Keele dee. However, a mixture of missed passes, running into trouble, and over-confidence meant that Keele were able to make breakaways and found themselves with more attackers than Whitchurch had defenders, and managed to score three of their own including some excellent pieces of work getting an attacker onto the far post for a tap-in. However, Whitchurch were able to maintain a cushion and Kimberley scored the final goal with a lovely stab-tackle in the dee which took the ball over the keeper. The game finished 7-4 and, with Oxton Mens 5s having withdrawn from the league, there is only the catch-up fixture against Brooklands MU 6s to mark the end of a tough but solid season for Whitchurch and a mid-table finish.

Timperley ladies 4s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 4

Whitchurch ladies 1s travelled away to play Timperley 4s this Saturday. When they played them at home earlier on in the season they battled for the win and this time there was no change. From the off both teams seemed very equal, with the ball being passed from one end to the other. Timperley were very skilful and managed to get the ball back in their defence.

They scored first from a slip into the Whitchurch goal corner. Whitchurch fought back up the pitch, with mid players Jessica Carruthers and Catherine Winter-Gresty helping Holly Jepson score her first, a straight strike from top dee.

After this everyone knew it was going to be a tough game to get the win, but Whitchurch were really enjoying the game and Ellie Windsor and Grace Berry kept attacking and putting on the pressure. Timperley were awarded a penalty flick that they managed to score their last.

Whitchurch now came back strong passing through the blues using Helen Machin and Natasha foster on the left and push into the dee to receive a short corner that Laura Workman slotted passed Timperley keeper.

Half time and a well earned rest; Whitchurch continued to fight for the ball and controlled the second half of the game more. Timperley managed to break a couple of times, but the amazing Maddie Sugden saved every shot. Whitchurch had a run of shorts which allowed Hebe Dixon to score receiving a slip from Catherine Winter-Gresty. Timperley were not liking this game and didn’t stop attacking putting plenty of pressure on defence Millie Edwards and Catherine Reece-Gresty but to no avail.

With ten minutes to go the game seemed to be dragging, Whitchurch just needing to hold onto the win. Another short for Whitchurch, a slip to Hebe Dixon from Grace Berry which deflected into the top corner. Whistle went and Whitchurch were overjoyed with a well deserved 4-2 win!

Winnington Park Men’s 4s 5  Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1

Whitchurch Men’s 2s travelled to Northwich, on Saturday, for a lunchtime match with third-placed Winnington Park 4s. With half of the team made up of junior players it was good to welcome Craig Hockenhull back from injury, into the centre of midfield.

True to the disparity in league position between the two teams, Winnington immediately took control of the game, with Whitchurch struggling to get out of their own half. The Northwich team won a series of short corners, bringing some excellent saves out of keeper Neil Jones. Ultimately the pressure on the Whitchurch defence forced a mistake and Winnington pounced to open the scoring.

Further chances came and went, in part due to some excellent last ditch defending from Wyn Morris, Rupert Yeoward and Danny Foulkes, but Winnington soon opened up a two-goal lead.

As the first half wore on, Whitchurch began to get a foothold in the game and started to make inroads into the Winnington half. With Craig Hockenhull the driving force in the centre of the pitch, Joe Coburn, Joe Faithful and Euan Morris were getting good possession on the Whitchurch right. Initially chances were limited to speculative shots and crosses, but better chances did come. The Northwich keeper made an excellent save from Hockenhull and then kicked away a shot by Doug Buckeridge at the near post.

With Whitchurch pushing forward, Winnington ruthlessly exposed them on the counter-attack just before half-time, and went into the break with a 3-0 lead.

The second half was much more even in terms of possession and territory, with the biggest difference between the two sides being the quality of finishing, as the more experienced Winnington side added a further two goals.

Despite this the Whitchurch defence were excellent in the second half. Wyn Morris had a storming game on the right, and Airan Jones grew into the game after a shaky start on the left. Rupert Yeoward and Danny Foulkes dealt with just about anything Winnington could muster in the middle of the pitch.

But Whitchurch had their chances. Euan Morris, Craig Hockenhull and Doug Buckeridge all went close or forced saves from the Winnington keeper. Joe Faithful found some excellent positions on the right wing and Jacob Buckeridge and James Page worked hard to provide width on the left.

Eventually Whitchurch got some reward for their endeavours, as Joe Coburn played an excellent pass through the centre of the pitch, which Doug Buckeridge flicked first time, putting Euan Morris clean through on goal. Despite good support from the Buckeridges, Euan fired across the keeper for a well deserved consolation goal.

Despite the 5-1 defeat, Whitchurch can again be proud of their efforts. Winnington are comfortably the third best team in the division and the Reds young side went toe-to-toe with them for long periods of the game. The young players continue to improve at this level, with Joe Faithful and Euan Morris having great second-halves, and Joe Coburn showing real maturity and tenacity in midfield.

Next Saturday, Whitchurch Men’s 2s entertain Denbigh 2s at SJT.

The under 14’s took to the pitch again this weekend with three matches against Bridgnorth, William Brookes Much Wenlock and Telford and Wrekin.
They started the first match against Bridgnorth attacking strongly with strong drives from Jasmin and Suzie. Unfortunately Bridgnorth saw an opening and managed to take the lead after scoring leaving the final score line 1-0 to Bridgnorth.

The second match was against William Brookes Much Wenlock and again they started with a very strong attack. Numerous attempts on goal resulted in Izzy finding the back of the net and then Ellie followed scoring Whitchurch’s second.  Whitchurch had a strong midfielder Fran who kept driving through to feed the ball to the forwards resulting in a 2-0 win for Whitchurch.

The final match was against Telford and Wrekin who were a strong attacking team putting the defensive skills of Holly and Hermione to the test. The opposition quickly put the ball past the defence and the Alice who had stepped in to play goalie for her first time in pads! After more shots from the opposition, which were saved by Alice Whitchurch broke through with an attack but unfortunately were not able to score. Telford then extended their lead by another goal from a short corner. The score line of this match shows how strong the defences didn’t goalkeeping were as Telford had many chances but were not able to optimise on them leaving the full time score as 2-0 to Telford and Wrekin.

The under 14 girls are back in action on 24th March at Wrekin College for their final games of the season.

Whitchurch ladies 3s 4 Neston ladies 5s 2

Whitchurch Ladies 3s arrived at their home pitch in a positive state of mind, as the sun was shining and it actually felt mild for the first time this season! They were due to play Neston Ladies 5s and having beaten them last time, they were hoping for a repeat performance!

Whitchurch had two new players, playing for a senior team for the first time, Fran Dunn and Lauren Turnbull. They both made an excellent debut and their confidence was fantastic for their first senior match. The match did not start well for Whitchurch however, as within the first few minutes Neston scored!

Whitchurch knew they had to refocus and began to fight back, with some great runs from forwards, Helen Hocknell, Victoria Corlett and Lauren Turnbull with wingers Ellie McEvoy and Milly Carruthers interjecting brilliantly. Despite some excellent defending from Mel Reid, Fran Dunn, Wendy Cooper and goalkeeper Evie Whatmough, Neston managed to score another goal before half time.

During the halftime team talk, it was apparent the Whitchurch players knew they could pull this one back in our favour! They went back on with fighting spirit and with some very useful midfield play by Chloe Lloyd, Emily Lister and Captain Kate Goodwin; Milly Carruthers was able to convert it into a great goal. The game was back on! Whitchurch refused to give up and with some excellent play by every team member, Helen Hocknell our player of the match managed to score a hat trick! So, the match finished 4-2 to Whitchurch. They were delighted with their comeback!