Hockey Boys Face Up Hill Battle
HOCKEY: The Light Blues face an uphill battle to reclaim the Varsity crown after a shaky start to the season.
After last year’s 5-2 Varsity drubbing at the hands of Oxford, new Blues captain Nick Parks has a lot to put right with his side.
He started by taking the squad on a tour of Belgium in the off-season to try to gel his team. Over on the continent the Blues squared up against the old sides of vice-captain Felix Styles and left with one win and one defeat.
However, this form has not been carried over into the start of the season. Their first two fixtures yielded a 2-2 draw with Wapping and a 3-1 defeat to West Hertfordshire.
But with a 4-0 cup win against Costyx under their belts and their captain in the goals (Parks has three clean sheets to his name already) things are beginning to look up.
This season marks the first time the Blues have competed in BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport), a prospect the skipper sees as have its pros and cons. “Obviously we have to start form the bottom league, so the competition won’t be as intense as usual”, says Parks, “however, we’re hoping to use BUCS as a chance to work on a development squad- the lads who might sit on the bench at the weekends or who are prospects for next year.
“As far as Varsity goes, we’ve obviously got ground to make up from last year and we’ve lost about half the team. But we’ve still got a pretty good core to the squad and I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing in training. Some of the senior lads will play some BUCS games too so we should go into Varsity with more hockey under our belts than last year.”
The noises coming from the captain are positive, but there’s a lot of hard work yet to come if the Light Blues are going to recapture the Varsity crown.