By Andy Davis
Following their recent 40th anniversary celebrations, Bude Hockey Club are currently gearing up towards the 2023/24 season as the club continues to try and push forward.
That is despite some tough challenges on and off the pitch, but they are happy to be back training ready for when the seasons starts this Saturday (September 30).
The junior section has seen steady growth and the future looks bright as they currently have in excess of 50 regular members, and the club are hoping to put teams in all age groups from under eights to under-14s for the season ahead.
They also have some of the more experienced players heading off to county trials over the next week and we wish them the best of luck.
The junior section welcomes any new members that want to have a go at this exciting, fast-paced sport and they currently train on Wednesday nights between 6pm and 7pm.
The club has worked so hard to put the right player pathway and progression in place that allows everyone to train and play with the goal that they eventually make it through to the senior teams and beyond when each person is ready, which is so vital for the sustainability for this small local club.
This successful pathway is shown by the number of youth players that are currently involved within the senior teams, and they are making a huge difference to the squads, so long may this continue.
The ladies’ team finished last season in seventh place in Women's Division Two South of the West Hockey League and just above the relegation zone, but they have lost more players than they have gained over the summer break so they know they will be in for another tough season, which is why they could do with an extra couple of new players, so if anyone is thinking now is a great time to dust off the shin pads and grab your stick, then head on down to join in the fun!
This year they are also looking at utilising a couple more junior members that can step up to the ladies’ team, and with the right attitude and belief they can continue to slowly build in the right direction.
They start their season on Saturday with an away trip to Plymouth Marjon Seconds, with a home tie against Torbay the week after.
The men’s team came really close to promotion last season from Men's Piran Division One, finishing second and runners-ups to champions OPM, so this year is clear they are aiming to go one better, and with a strong, settled squad, they have the foundations in place and with such a youthful squad the future is bright.
They also benefit from their juniors already having had plentiful match-day experiences from last year in the bank so they will undoubtedly be more experienced and stronger for it.
They just need some consistency and finesse in those close games that will see them stay ahead of the pack.
The men’s first game is a big local derby away to Bodmin on Saturday, with their first home game the following week on October 7 against Penzance Seconds.
Both senior teams currently train in Bude on Wednesday nights from 7.30pm to 9pm, and the club is most welcoming of any potential player, no matter what age or current playing ability, so if you are interested in finding out more details or trying one of the sessions, either for you or your child, then just head to the club’s Facebook pages found via Bude Hockey Club for more information.