Social hockey has had its biggest intake ever this year with over 30 girls turning up to our taster sessions at the beginning of term. Many of the girls had never played hockey before, but by the end of term they had grown in confidence and skill so much that they were able to fully partake in drills with the rest of the 4s, as well as the occasional training with the 3s, which is a fantastic achievement.
The 4th team compete in a friendly league and play 4 matches a term. Our first match against Stratford Ladies proved to be quite tough and we unfortunately lost 7-0. However, we were playing a team of mixed ages so some of our opponents had been playing for several years, whereas some of our girls had not played a single match before.
Our second match was another tough game against Hampton-in-Arden. Despite the determined efforts of our forwards to get the ball up the pitch, particularly Bethan and Sim, the opposition’s defence proved too strong. So strong in fact that their goalie took her kit off at half time and sat on the side as she was so confident we wouldn’t be able to score a goal! Unfortunately, she was right and we lost 6-0.
Our third game wasn’t until a month later so by now after about 7 weeks of training I was hopeful we would be able to score our first goal. On this occasion Becky O’Keefe stepped up to play in goal and was very busy throughout the match making some excellent saves. Despite the tireless efforts of our defenders including Katie, Rupam and Sofia, the opposition proved too strong for us and the final score was 8-0.
Our final match proved to be our hardest one yet. The team had two young boys who played up front and despite their youth and size they proved a real struggle to defend. Although these were our toughest opponents yet, we played fantastically in this game and I could really see that everyone was giving it their all and we were playing brilliantly as a whole team. Unfortunately, our determined efforts weren’t enough to get us a goal and the final score was 10-0.
Despite our match scores I do believe the team have improved so much this term. Our main coach Matt Kemp has pushed us to greatly improve our hits, slaps, and dribbling as well as our fitness. Due to the huge size of our squad this year, having Jess, Toby and Ollie helping out with coaching has been essential as the beginners were able to go over some basics while those who had played before could get on with more advanced drills.
Social hockey is all about playing sport purely for fun, and although we do take it seriously at times, there is no pressure to perform well and we keep training light-hearted and fun. Despite our more chilled out approach to sport, after seeing how much we have improved I am confident that next term will bring a stronger set of results for the 4s and we will certainly score our first goal.