The club commenced season 18/19 with one Badgers team. This team started with a defeat away to Deeside (4-3) noting this was the first time some of the players had played together but then went on a successful run until Christmas including a win away against Deeside (3-2) and the first time my James had ever played in a winning team against Deeside. Most games were competitive with Chester scoring freely and defending well.
Through this first part of the season we gave a number of juniors opportunities in senior sides with Will Atkinson and Chris Gray now regulars for Mens 4's, Edmund Hartley and Daniel Jeremy regulars for Mens 5's and James Hunt in Mens 6's.
At Christmas we reviewed the season and in response to our Beavers A's consistently winning convincingly we made a change. Since January we have had two Badgers teams playing regularly. The u14s Badgers team includes all players that will be eligible for the u14 England Hockey Competition squad next season. The u16s Badgers team includes the older juniors not playing regular senior hockey but with opportunities as appropriate to play for Mens/Ladies teams
The u14s Badgers team did face stronger opposition than they were doing as Beavers but continued their success looking like they would go a full season unbeaten and eventually suffered only one loss – the last game of the season away against Brooklands with only 10 players available.
The u16s Badgers team has had a mixed second half of the season but again played good competitive games. Against other strong clubs (inc Bowden, Brooklands, Neston) the team have both won and lost ending the season on a high with a last minute winner away at Bowden (2-1).
In some games players were swapped between squads so the coaches could focus on specific development needs and as the season progressed the Badgers coaches took the opportunity to begin to play top Beavers players to help with their progression for the season to come.
Tuesday training has continued in all weather conditions and it is great to see so many players attending training and developing their hockey under the guidance of Sam.
Attendance at Sunday training has been disappointing in the latter part of the season. With some great sessions led by our 1st team this was a great opportunity to develop skills that only a few of our players benefited from.
We would encourage ALL players to attend club training and will be working on how to make the training (Tuesday/Sunday) even better in the 2019/20 season with additional coaching support and individual development plans. details to be finalised and communicated
Thanks from Phil (u16s) and Tim (u14s) to the many people who have supported the badgers squads this season particularly Peter & Gareth for team support and Parky, Peter & Marcus for regularly umpiring.