Southgate Hockey Club is still leading the way, writes chairman Neil Murphy
Southgate Hockey Club is one of the largest, most successful hockey clubs in the country – and the club’s facilities in Trent Park are some of the finest to be found anywhere in Europe.
Trent Park has been Southgate Hockey Club’s home for almost 25 years but its history goes back long before that. Founded in 1886, Southgate has been at the top of the hockey pyramid ever since then. The club were European champions in 1976, 1977, and 1978. Numerous England and Great Britain players have worn the black and red of Southgate.
Indeed, the finest hour of the Great Britain men’s team – winning gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympics – was built on a backbone of people from Southgate Hockey Club; including team coach, manager, captain and leading goal scorer.
Today this successful, high performance level of hockey continues with both the men’s and ladies’ first teams competing in the National Hockey League and junior players representing county, regional and national age-group teams.
However, Southgate is also about much more than top-level hockey. Every weekend throughout the season we field five ladies’ teams and eleven men’s teams all drawn from a pool of 300 senior and more than 200 junior players. These teams play at all levels of the London Hockey League, East League, and Middlesex Ladies League – competitive and friendly sport to suit all abilities and ages. The club also fields veterans’ teams for over-40s, over-50s and over-60s, as well as mixed-age teams.
Southgate is, and always has been, an ambitious club looking to grow and broaden its offer of hockey to lots of people. Our ethos is to develop our own talent and we have, perhaps, the strongest junior coaching set up in the region. Led by head coach John Shaw – a former GB Olympian and Southgate stalwart – the juniors have more than 200 members training on Sunday mornings and they successfully compete in regional and national leagues.
Over the next two or three seasons, we’re looking for new playing members to support additional teams in the ladies’ section and to build on the strength of new teams in the various men’s divisions. Club membership secretary, Michelle Joubert, says: “We are always keen to hear from anybody thinking about playing. We welcome players coming back to hockey, moving to the area, university students and people taking up the game for the first time.”
Everyone at Southgate is proud of the club’s facilities; few hockey clubs in the country have their own pitches and clubhouse and most depend on local schools and council-owned pitches. At Southgate hockey is played all-year round, including the summer leagues, and training sessions take place most of nights of the week during the season. After a match there are few better places to relax and re-live the game than on the balcony of Southgate’s clubhouse, while watching the next fixture taking place below.
Everyone gets a game at Southgate.
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