This website can exclusively reveal who Havant, Fareham and Chichester will play in the England Hockey League this winter, along with Trojans ladies in the women's competition.
Havant play in Men's South Division 1 lining up against Brighton & Hove, Team Bath, Oxford Hawks, relegated Reading, promoted Old Cranleighians, Sevenoaks, Canterbury, Southgate and Teddington.
Chichester and Fareham will go head-to-head in the West Conference, with west country trips to Ashmoor, Plymouth Marjon and ISCA, Cardiff University, Briistol University, Khalsa (Leamington) and Cheltenham.
In Women's South 1, Trojans face ISCA, Reading, Slough, Surbiton, Sevenoaks, Cambridge City, Harleston Magpies and Canterbury.
BOURNEMOUTH University has launched plans to deliver a series of improvements to the Chapel Gate sports complex, where Bournemouth plays its South League hockey.
The planning application, which has been submitted to BCP Council, includes carrying out work on the artificial hockey pitch and installing new lighting.
The site near Bournemouth Airport was bought by Bournemouth University (BU) last summer from Bournemouth and District Recreational Charity.
Refurbishments included in the proposals mark the first significant investment in the site since it was acquired.
A spokesman for the university said: “We have a plan for specific enhancements to the buildings and facilities at the Chapel Gate site, including the refurbishment of a hockey pitch, new LED lighting and car park improvements.
“This work was scheduled to take place during summer 2020. However, resource constraints at BCP Council has created delays around planning consent and so, we have taken the decision to postpone the works to summer 2021.
“We hope to still be able to carry out smaller maintenance works in the autumn, as part of our commitment to the site.”
Alongside replacing the one of the astroturf hockey pitches and floodlights for both pitches, the planning application seeks permission to create a new hockey warm up area and pedestrian circulation areas, repace the floodlights on the main rugby pitch and resurface areas of the car park and entrance road.
A statement submitted to the council’s planning department on behalf of BU by Savills says: “The application is sustainable development: it will contribute towards the maintenance of Chapel Gate as a self-funding facility for use by BU students and staff and community visitors.
“In turn the new facilities will help to make BU more attractive to prospective students, which will have a wider economic benefit for the University and the local economy.
“It will contribute to a modern facility that will encourage physical activity and engagement with the associated benefits to health and wellbeing and it will ensure that the existing natural environment is protected and enhanced.”
The 69-acre Chapel Gate is used by the university sports teams as well as local organisations from various sports including Bournemouth Rugby and Bournemouth Cricket clubs.
Fareham have fired a 'hands off' warning to prying local clubs eager to woo some of their talented youngsters away from Henry Cort following last season's relegation from National Hockey League South.
Portsmouth Grammar School's Rory Buckeridge, striker Fergus Jackson and midfielder Rory Penrose are all in England developments squads and new coach George Harris is keen they remain at Fareham to develop their careers.
"A lot of time and effort has been spent on youth development and I'm keen that, if possible, they all stay and progress with us, though I appreciate some will leave the area for university," Harris said.
Fareham's Under-18 squad
Back row (from left): Alex Beckett, Rory Penrose, Sam Mackenzie, Soren Golding, Alex Georgiou, Finn Coleman, Noah Murphy, Hugh Wilkinson, Ben Randell. Front: Alex Ellison, Phil Larcombe, Fergus Jackson, Rory Buckeridge, Sam Ratliffe, Jay Green, Luke Hett.
Fareham have appointed their former goalkeeper George Harris as head coach to succeed Ben Barnes, who has stepped down at the helm of the recently relegated National Hockey League South club.
Harris will need little re-introduction at Fareham, having played at Henry Cort for seven years prior to dipping his toes into the coaching side of the game with local South Premier Division outfit Winchester.
Discussing his Fareham return, Harris said: “It’s a huge challenge taking over from Ben at Fareham, where I spent some of my most enjoyable times in the game and where I have been lucky enough to make some life-long friends.
“The opportunity to come back and be able to put my own stamp on the playing side is too good to ignore.
“It’s a close-knit family club with a great volunteer base and a good crop of young players coming through in the next few years.
“I’m looking forward to building a team that those youngsters will aspire to and to create an environment where they can tap into the enormous amount of experience already in the existing squad.
“Of course, winning a few games generally helps with that.”
East or West ?
Harris, whose Winchester side narrowly staved off relegation from the South Premier this past season, will inherit a Fareham squad destined to drop down a rung on the hockey ladder, having finished bottom of the National South Division with only two wins.
They await confirmation from England Hockey whether they will play in either Conference East or West hockey next autumn.
Harris acknowledges that his immediate and most significant task is to ensure that most, if not all, the club’s talented stream of young players remain at the club.
“I need to speak to a few of them and try and tie down a couple who may be tempted by offers elsewhere,” he said.
“We need players who are proud to pull on the black Fareham shirt and are 100 per cent committed to the club if we are to achieve our goals.”
Harris had intended to retire from playing when he left Fareham at the end of the 2017/18 season, but Winchester’s depleted resources forced him out of his technical area and back between the posts again.
Winchester flirted with relegation all season, eventually finishing third from bottom of the South Premier League.
Harris said: “It was a huge effort by that group of players to get some crucial end-of-season wins. I’m immensely grateful for the effort the players put in and the spirit they showed to get over the line.
“However, as soon as I knew Fareham were interested in having me back there was only one place I wanted to be having previously played for seven seasons there.”
Outgoing head coach Ben Barnes believes Harris will be a success at Fareham.
“George was an obvious choice and first on my thoughts to take over. He knows the club, was a Fareham great during his spell between the sticks and has played with many of the players and most certainly will have learned a great deal in his two years at Winchester.
“I’m very pleased he has agreed to take over, I am sure he will do a great job and keep pushing the club forward.”
Ben Barnes has stepped down as Fareham’s hockey coach after seven seasons with the recently relegated National League South club – but stresses he was going to quit the job anyway !
The former Great Britain international who made his name in hockey with East Grinstead and Reading explained that: “both work and family life are increasingly taking over more time, particularly at Seaford College (Petworth), where my role is expanding and will require more commitment from the scheduled beginning of the autumn term in September.
“This past season I found it hard to juggle both as well as keeping family happy with being away all of the weekend basically.
“Fareham staying up or not, my decision would have been the same.
“I think also after seven seasons it is time for a different voice and for someone else to inject a new direction and enthusiasm into the role that needs 100 per cent attention and commitment as per the playing group.
“There are many to thank during my time as well as this group regarding the passion, time and commitment that all have shown during my time as Fareham HC coach.
“All of the players who have pulled the shirt on have been great to work with and it has been a privilege to have been part of your hockey career whether it be for all or some of those seven seasons or even just this last one. The management support both on the touchline and in the club itself has been remarkable.
“We have all shared in the highs and lows during this time and it has been quite a journey. I wish everyone at the club continued success when the lockdown finally ends.”
Fareham, who scraped into a powerful National South Division after winning the 2019/20 promotion play-off, finished bottom of the pile this term, winning only two matches against Brighton & Hove and Teddington. They were badly hit by injury before the campaign even began.
“Ben leaves us with nothing but good wishes from all at Fareham, in particular his commitment, enthusiasm and expertise he has brought to his role,” reflected FHC chairman Colin Bradbury.
“When Ben arrived he quickly bought into our family culture and both what we wanted to achieve and most importantly how we wanted to achieve it.
“I think it is fair to say that all the players he has coached over the last seven years have benefited but, in particular, to see the development of young players at the club has been rewarding and great to watch. It is in the development of young talent that Ben leaves his greatest legacy.
“So as Ben moves onto this new chapter in his life, he goes with our thanks and good wishes. We intend to retain strong links with him and hope he will enjoy watching a few games when time permits with his many friends at Fareham."
For anyone who knew Daisy Strange, they will remember her as the vivacious, bubbly, blonde haired hockey girl. For a lucky few of us, we have the privilege of remembering her not only as a teammate, but also as our close friend.
On 11 April 2020 at the age of 25 years, however, we all said one last goodbye to our beautiful Daisy as she ended her battle with cancer.
Daisy was diagnosed with Stage IV tongue cancer in October 2019, and put up a hard, gruelling fight every step of the way. Although the past 6 months will be fresh in our minds, Daisy’s life was defined by so much more than her cancer diagnosis. ‘Caring’, ‘incredible’ and ‘inspirational’ are just some of the words that have been used to describe her, giving a brief insight as to why she was loved by so many people.
Never one to brag, few people know the sheer amount that Daisy achieved throughout her lifetime; earning a sports scholarship to St Bede’s School, captaining countless sports teams, becoming the head of prep girls sport at Seaford College to name but a few. However, we all knew her best for her top-class hockey skills. Starting her hockey career at Chichester, she went on to play for East Grinstead and (after a cheeky stint in New Zealand) came to join the Trojans hockey family.
To say that Daisy left an everlasting impression on the Trojans community would be a gross understatement. During her time at Trojans, she was rarely seen without a massive, cheeky smile. Playing defence for the ladies' National League side, she was an integral member of the team, always providing entertainment both on and off the pitch. Her incredible, bubbly personality made it hard to resist the prospect of a post hockey night out, which was great fun until you had another match the next day!
Accompanied by her dog Kia, she would arrive singing and dancing (and possibly hungover), ready to spread her infectious energy to everyone surrounding her. However, it wasn’t just her zest for life that made her so remarkable; her willingness to help and support other club members meant she touched the lives of countless Trojan’s players, and for that she will be fondly remembered.
Daisy, it’s rare to find someone able to bring out the best in people, and that is something you did on a daily basis so effortlessly. Your crazy, hilarious personality is unforgettable, and we will be reminded of you in every scrunchie, every pumped-up team talk and every daisy we see in the sunshine. Love you forever and always.
Like most sport around the world, league action was halted in the middle of last month.
But while football leagues still had many games to play, a lot of the hockey divisions were coming to an end or, in some cases, had been completed.
England Hockey have taken the decision to honour the games that had been played at the highest few levels of the sport, writes Simon Carter of The News, Portsmouth.
‘Teams’ standings when the league stopped will be their final standings. Existing promotion and relegation regulations will be applied based on these standings,’ they said in a statement.
That is a different view to the one taken by the Football Association and the Rugby Football Association in recent weeks.
The FA have controversially null and voided all non-league football between steps 3-7, while the RFU worked out their final tables using a point-per-game methodology.
Both Surbiton men’s and women’s teams have won their respective national titles, but in both cases all league games in the division had been completed.
England Hockey’s decision means there is no relegation reprieve for Fareham.
They were doomed to finish bottom of the Division 1 South table when the season was halted. Though they had two games left, they trailed second bottom Teddington by seven points.
Fareham can have little cause for complaint - they scored the fewest goals in their division (21) and conceded the most (68). While their goal difference was minus 47, Teddington’s was only minus 12.
Other local clubs must now wait on the South Hockey and Hampshire Hockey organisations to decide how they want to end their seasons.
Just because England Hockey have decided to honour final placings, though, that does not mean other leagues will have to follow suit. Hockey is not like football or rugby, where there is one body overseeing all the grassroots game.
Indeed, the East of England Hockey League had previously announced they were adopting a points-per-game solution - similar to the RFU - to decide promotion and relegation.
In Hampshire/Surrey Regional 2, Portsmouth 1sts trailed second-placed Old Cranleighans 2nds by two points with two games to go.
In order to snatch that second promotion place, they would have needed to win their last two games and, due to goal differences, hope OCs only picked up a point.
In Regional 1, Fareham 2nds were entrenched in the relegation play-off zone and, with two games remaining, no chance of getting out of it.
In Hampshire Division 1, Petersfield had two games left but were certain to finish in the one automatic relegation place. As it stood, Havant 2nds and Fareham 2nds were third-bottom and second-bottom respectively and according to the league website could be relegated.
The first four division of the Hampshire Men’s League come under the South League umbrella.
In Division 3, US Portsmouth were already guaranteed promotion with two games still to play. If they had won their remaining matches and leaders Fleet & Ewshot lost their last one, US would have won the title on goal difference.
Elsewhere in the Hampshire League, Gosport 2nds finished bottom of Division 6 and Portsmouth 4ths pipped US Portsmouth 2nds on goal difference to win the Division 8 title.
In the Hampshire Women’s League, no local clubs are waiting to hear whether they will be promoted, but a few could well be relegated.
Portsmouth 1sts were third in Hampshire Premier, eight points adrift of leaders New Forest with only two games left.
Havant 3rds were bottom of Division 1 and Gosport Borough 2nd bottom of Division 2 after winning just one of their 20 games.
The latter could still have avoided finishing in the relegation zone, though, had they won their last two games and third-bottom Wimborne picked up no more than a point from their two matches.
In Hampshire 3, Petersfield occupied the second automatic promotion place. But they only held a one-point lead over Yateley 2nds with two games left.
At the bottom, Fareham 3rds were guaranteed to finish in the relegation zone.
In Division 5, Portsmouth 4ths occupied the second relegation place, but were only a point behind Salisbury 5ths with two games to go.
Gosport 2nds were also guaranteed to finish in the Division 6 drop zone, with just one game left - they trailed third bottom Swanage by six points and the Dorset club had two matches in hand.
It is expected that the South and Hampshire Leagues will reveal how they plan to bring 2019/20 to a close within a week.
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