AGM Results 2014

The  Executive Committee for 2014/15 has elected at the Club’s Annual General Meeting last night. It was another very long affair, but we feel the discussions and debates surrounding all the candidates were worthwhile and formative. Here’s the full list:

President: Tom Spencer

Vice President/Club Secretary: Kenji Kinoshita

Treasurer: Ed Zeidler

Club Captain: Tom Metcalf

2nd Team Captain: Ali McFarlane

3rd Team Captain: James Lowson

4th Team Captain: Raj Sandhu

Social Secretaries: Chris Barnett and Joshua Redman

Director of Communications: Matt Tricker

Tour Secretary: Rob McGeachie

Charities Secretary: James Da Costa

Fixtures Secretary: Matt Holmes

Umpires Secretary: Alex Evans

Many congratulations to all those who were successfully elected, it looks like another very strong team to lead the UWMHC forward.

Varsity 2014

This year, the UWMHC once again face the “challenge” that is the “undeniable talent” of Coventry University Hockey Club.

While Coventry 1st XI have shown some sort of good form whilst playing the Chirps, the inevitable clash against Patrick Davis’ side of magmen will no doubt result in yet another win for Team Warwick. The UWMHC 1st XI sit very happily at 2nd in BUCS Midlands 2B, dominated as it is by Cambridge 1st XI (yet to lose a game…). The team is home to current club top scorer (and perhaps favourite for the elusive Golden Stick) Eeyore, who seems to have a penchant for goals and is one of the reasons behind the side scoring more goals at home than the bottom four sides in BUCS have scored in total. The magmen certainly don’t simply win every game without the odd nice gesture however, as they proved by recently deciding to finish on a draw with Oxford 2nd XI (that’s the official line at least).

To further enhance the team’s reputation, we can have a quick glance at what’s been happening on blissful Saturday afternoons for the boys. MRHA has seen a few mixed results returned to Westwood, but despite 5 losses, “Team Boring”, are within 1 good result (and 15 goals) of catching Warwick, who are perched below Old Silhillians, again yet to lose a game. It would seem therefore, that although the UWMHC’s best may not be looking at promotion they are definitely dominating this season’s hockey in a far superior manner than Coventry would even dream of being able to replicate. The biggest score line of the season came from the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup, with Warwick 1st XI slotting 22 past Worcester 2s with no reply – this has turned into 46 goals scored with only 1 conceded in 3 games in the cup.

Then we come down to the dizzying heights of Midlands 5A, a league that Coventry 2nd XI share with the UWMHC 4th XI. This league has two teams that consistently fail to field teams, partly because they inhabit the furthest reaches of the Midlands region possible. Despite this, the magmen sit just two points behind Coventry 2s, a poor show from Coventry who are 2 leagues below their Varsity opponents.

This year, Coventry 2nd XI are yet again pitched against the mighty force that is David Dougall’s 2nd XI, known to all of Warwick as “The Chirps”. Given the Chirps’ tendency to slip into double figure score lines (14-0 against Birmingham City University), it is no great surprise that the 2s sit in 2nd behind yet another team that hasn’t lost a game (it’s become a bit of a theme this season) in BUCS Midlands 3B. The competition against Coventry Uni is intense, with the latest clash leaving the magmen elated after acting calmly under a 2-0 deficit with 15 minutes left to bring the score back to a level 2-2 finish. Perhaps the best indicator of the excellent form the Chirps have been on is the improvement from a 2-2 draw with University College Birmingham last term to an 8-0 demolition a few weeks ago, a dramatic change of pace.

Without intending to seem too conceited, it can only be said that this fixture is almost guaranteed to bring 2 points back for Team Warwick, with the only question remaining of just how many times can the Chirps breach Coventry’s defence?

Roundup of Term 1

With all the excitement from Christmas and the New Year dying down, it’s time to look back at Term 1 and forward towards the next term and all that it holds in store for the UWMHC.

October got us going with a big intake of freshers from the sports fair, swelling the club up to over 80 members keen to get out on the pitches and in the SU to show off their silky skills and fill in the gaps left by the Magmen who left last year. Unfortunately, the taster session didn’t exactly pan out as expected, as after a comprehensive warm up from Kali we were sent away from the pitches. Despite this minor setback, plenty of freshers turned up to our first social of the year and after half a circle from social secretary Kenji Kinoshita, our second social sec Tom Metcalf (Patches) introduced himself to the freshers who had foolishly befriended him… Wednesday nights have continued in this fashion, with Kenji and Patches proving why they were chosen by the club.

Back on the pitches, all four teams didn’t get off to the best of starts, dropping points in both BUCS and MRHA leagues early on. As we progressed deeper into the term the effort being put in by all the magmen started to pay off, with good results being returned to Fortress Westwood. The MRHA leagues have seen better results generally than BUCS games, with a 12 point Saturday leaving all 4 teams sitting safely in the middle of their respective MRHA league tables.

The 1st XI has been under the direction of Patrick Davis, who has led the side from strength to strength, as they sit in second in BUCS Midlands 2B having won 4 out of 6 games so far, behind Cambridge 1st XI who are yet to drop a point and look likely to be going up at the end of this season. The team are also the side left representing Warwick in the Conference cup, having picked up 38 goals in the two matches played. MRHA West Midlands Prem has seen a less resilient set of performances, as the team sits in 6th behind some sides that are very tough to beat. The middle weeks of term saw the best results from the side, with a streak of 10 matches without loss, a feat Warwick’s 1st XI will be look to replicate in term 2.

Team Chirps, as they are lovingly known by Captain David Dougall, haven’t fared quite as well, with a few unlucky results leaving the side sitting in the middle of both leagues in 3rd in their BUCS Midlands 3B league. Despite being a side that could challenge the top teams (their latest BUCS result being a draw with top of the league Leicester 1s), the habit of making things hard for themselves has not be trained out of the side, as games that perhaps should have been won have left the Chirps missing points that they will have to earn back this term.  In the MRHA Midlands 1 league the side sit in 6th after a mixed bag of results not dissimilar to the 1st XI, and if they can convert games against the lower teams and keep competing then the Chirps could finish in a strong position.

After a rocky pre-season for the 3rd XI without a captain, unfortunately things have carried on in the same fashion under the Captaincy of Tom Holme. Playing in a league with 3 1st XI sides has left the side still looking for a win in BUCS Midlands 3A, as the 3rd XI have struggled with players being juggled around the club, especially the freshers who have been climbing up and down the rungs of the UWMHC. The story has been similar but no so bleak in MRHA East Midlands Premier, with 3 wins and 3 draws leaving the side sitting 6th in the table. A strong second half of the season could see the magmen drive up the table, but challenging for promotion may be a leap too far.

Tom Bayley had easily the best start to the year out of all the teams, leading his 4th XI to 3 wins out of their first 4 games. However trying to share games between the abundance of freshers who inhabit the top pitch has took its toll on the results during the middle of term 1, with 5 losses denting the 4th XI’s confidence. However, a strong finish to the term in the same manner as the start could see the 4th XI rise up from their safe positions to challenge the top teams in both BUCS and MRHA.

Off the pitches the magnificent men have once again been dominating campus, with Wednesday socials being attended fully and complemented by several off campus socials organised by our ever busy social secs who have been introducing new games as well as keeping the traditions passed down each year alive. The Christmas break saw the boys take a little trip down to Cardiff for Domestic Tour, which was sold out within minutes, and enjoy themselves frolicking around the city. Back at the SU, CMD held their (now annual) Warwick Dance for Sport Relief competition, which saw some innovative dances coming from the competitors. As good (or otherwise) as they were, no-one could match the silky moves produced by the UWMHC, who for the 3rd time in its history won the trophy!

More importantly, our charity work has continued this year, with all proceeds being split between the Alzheimer’s Society and PAPYRUS, both worthy and relevant causes. Term 1 saw a Talent Show with the Ladies club, which raised over £370 and helped the freshers to express themselves. Over the coming term and into term 3 there will be more fundraising events, with the annual Charity Tournament to look forward to, as well as events such as the Stratford (Shakespeare) Half Marathon and Tough Mudder, which we hope to get involved in this year.

It’s begun

We’re nearly halfway through the first term of this year, and the first four weeks for the UWMHC has been as eventful as ever. A new sponsor in the form of Altoria has been secured for the year by our industrious President, and they have already hosted us for one circle, with more socials in the pipeline.

The beginning of a new year always accompanies a week of hard training in the form of Pre-season, which Patrice took as his cue to whip all the old boys into some sort of shape, also introducing the “Baker Surprise”, a run which has easily named this former hockey boy as the most hated of everyone who left last year (ed- love you Charlie). As much fun as endlessly running around a hockey pitch all day was, the tour up to Liverpool was the real highlight of pre-season. Results might not have turned out in our favour, but the night out was enjoyed by all, getting all the boys back into the swing of life at Uni.

Term started with high hopes for the UWMHC, and we were not disappointed- despite a questionable choice of stand position at the sports fair the effort invested by the exec and club members paid off as we managed to get a huge intake of Freshers for the year ahead. The taster session was fairly exciting, as the Freshers only got about ½ an hour of pitch time before we were all evacuated onto University House field and promptly had to abandon the session. Regardless of this setback as many Freshers turned up to the first circle of term as they could and discovered the joys of Purple and what not to call a Chairman.

The first few games for Warwick are always a struggle, as other teams get a few weeks head start over us in both training and bonding as a team, with this year proving no exception. The 2nd and 3rd XIs had the least successful starts to their BUCS and MRHA campaigns, while the 4th XI proved why they’ll be the team to beat this year smashing their first MRHA game 5-3. The 4th XI were also the first to get a win in their BUCS league, destroying Coventry 2s 5-2, leaving themselves top of the league! As ever wins have started trickling in as we progress through the season, with all the teams having got 3 points on the board from at least 1 match. The 1st XI, under the direct and “edgy” leadership of Patrice will be looking to build on performances that should have yielded better results so far in both BUCS and MRHA leagues, as the entire club looks to their forwards to start converting chances into goals.

Off the pitch the UWMHC have been busy around campus, from organising a Club Day against Northumbria to a well-executed pub crawl type night out in Leamington. The club day turned up decent performances for the Magmen to build upon, whilst entertaining us for a day before BUCS leagues started. Our boys are also getting involved in an squash ladder run within the club, keeping up the UWMHC outlook of being the best sportsmen on campus. Skool Dayz also saw an appearance for the Magmen as a few of the old boys returned to their favourite watering hole in the copper rooms for a few pints.

Look out for the boys smashing Warwick Dance for Sport Relief (ed- Yes, we did win last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhpy72M-EtA) later on this term, and keep on attending training sessions!

3rd XI Captain

The new 3rd XI Captain for the 2013/14 season is Tom Holme. We’re grateful to Dave Duncan for stepping down due to his change of course and subsequent increase in workload.

New Year, New Season

The end of September is marching ever closer, and as the 30th draws nearer the urge to panic about starting a new year at University begins to creep into your minds… but fear not! We at the UWMHC are here to support everyone coming to the great institution that is the University of Warwick. Make sure you keep an eye on the Warwick SU website for updates from them (Freshers 2013).

We’ll have a table set up at the Warwick Sports Fair on Tuesday 1st October so make sure you visit us and sign up! Freshers, remember that we’ll be holding our first social of the year on the 1st Wednesday so make sure you get tickets as soon as you can- they WILL run out. Any questions can as ever be directed at our Twitter or Facebook page, or email su125@warwicksu.com.

Freshers Info 2013

Hello and Welcome to Freshers for 2013!

Congratulations on all your results and well done if you’ve gained a place to Warwick! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in October, but in the meantime make sure you check out our Freshers 2013 page and remember to find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Term 3 2013 – What do the UWMHC get up to without Hockey?

As we head into the final term of the year and exams loom ever closer, you would be forgiven for thinking the magnificent men of Warwick might be getting their heads down and turning attention onto the demands of our various degrees (apparently History has quite a workload). But no, active as ever the boys have already had a 6 a side hockey tournament, organised and run by new 2nd XII Captain David Dougall. The tournament kicked off with the 5 sides playing each other in ¼ of a pitch areas over 20 minute games. George Cloake managed to conduct his team “Eat Drink Slay” to a strong finish at the top, with Dougall’s side unfortunately dropping to the bottom of the pile. The afternoon was very well run and strong congratulations go out to Dougall. Hockey will be continued further into term 3, with an Ernst & Young Rush Hockey league that has been organised by Warwick Sport. Rush hockey is a newer, smaller version of hockey, where 6 aside teams play with hockey balls that “don’t hurt”.

A few of the magmen returned to Spain for the legendary foreign tour over the Easter break. This year new President Tom Duncan was the man under pressure, but pulled a fantastic tour out of the bag as the UWMHC dominated Salou both on and off the pitch. A few of the boys even let the excitement get to their heads and had a go at gaining stardom through international news media, but to no avail.

In addition to continuing our hockey prowess well past the last BUCS and MRHA games of the season, term 3 is always the time for the sports clubs of Warwick to host various charity events and leagues. The rugby 7s tournament on 8th May looks set to be dominated by a team of some of the biggest hockey boys, and we won’t be shying away from the Netball club’s invitation for another assembly of magmen to add to our unending domination of sport in term 3. Cricket matches are always an important part of the magnificent men’s term 3 exploits, with Captain Joe Richards leading a renewed UWMHCC into battle. It’s the second year of the Ernst & Young Cricket Champions League, where we’re pitted against such foes as Rugby, Tennis and the “Champs”.

Monday week 10 (24th June) looks set to be the biggest charity event of the year, as the beautiful minds behind of the Men and Ladies’ Charity Secretaries are organising a tournament to rival the Olympics. Teams of 6 (with up to 2 subs) will be playing in fancy dress aiming for prizes such as Best Team Name and Best Dressed Team. The day is in support of Cancer Research and Debbie Fund, and kit will be available for any teams who aren’t usually seen playing our delightful sport, but make sure your team details in by 17th June.

Hockey Ball then Varsity? Not a Problem for the UWMHC

In their, much catalogued, infinite wisdom ,Warwick Sport had this year organised for the annual Hockey Varsity fixtures to be played in the immediate aftermath of the University of Warwick Hockey Club Ball, an event which normally sees a few pints consumed as the club celebrates its successes in the global hockey world. There therefore seemed to be some due cause for concern from the University, as it looked as if the usual full quota of Varsity points may well have been in danger and subsequently Varsity itself was could well have been jeopardised by Warwick Sport’s poor management. Fortunately for Warwick Sport and Warwick’s international reputation as a sporting powerhouse, the Warwick Hockey boys recognised the importance of the following days games and duly took appropriate measures to ensure they were fully prepared for the clash; such measures were epitomised by one player leaving the aforementioned ball early and catching the 01:43 U1 to campus in full hockey kit, complete with stick and shin-pads, and another allowing himself to be fully rested by catching a couple of hours sleep in one of Leamington’s more prominent fast food establishments.

With everyone having completed their pre-match preparations the 2s (more affectionately known as “The Chirps”) kicked off proceedings by entertaining Coventry 2nds at Fortress Westwood. After a tetchy first half an hour, during which the visiting Coventry supporters grew not so quietly optimistic, the score was only 1-0 to Warwick and the expected goal-fest seemed but a distant pipe dream. Fortunately as the first half drew on the Warwick fans flooded into the terraces and started to make themselves heard. It was at this point that Notorious Dave (part time promoter for Leamington’s favourite night out, full time goal-scorer for the UWMHC) started to dictate the game’s tempo and calmly started slotting away the many chances that befell him. Before long the floodgates had opened and the Coventry crowd grew more disappointed than members of the University gym. Notorious Dave, Joey Dwonczyk and club lothario Paddy O’Brien all got themselves onto the score-sheet but it was Sebastian Larrson look-a-like, Ed Ziedler, who took home the MoM award as The Chirps claimed a resounding 10-0 win. One has to wonder whether Coventry will continue to offer their 2nd XI as sacrificial lambs to this annual celebration of Warwick superiority.

While the 2s result was never seriously in doubt, everybody knew that the showpiece event would be a much closer contest. Although having never beaten Warwick. Ever. This year’s Coventry side were a much improved outfit, who had already beaten The Chirps comprehensively during a cup-encounter earlier in the year, and with the Warwick supporters beginning to flag given the previous night’s activities the game under the Sunday Night Lights at Coventry felt much akin to a cold Champions League night away at Galatasary. The sandy composition of Coventry’s facilities did not immediately lend itself to the liquid brand of hockey the supporters of UWMHC had come to expect from the side and ginger cult-hero Sam Wilmott (also known as the red-headed spray bird) was starting to wonder where he would find the space he spends all game searching for. Before the acclimatisation period was over Warwick found themselves a goal to nil down and the Coventry supporters had been sent into rapture.

It was perhaps that goal that instilled in them the confidence to spout such witty remarks from the sidelines as ‘Wilmott you’re sh*t’ and ‘Askins, you’re a c**t’.  Whether such abuse was the catalyst for what follows is open to debate, but what’s not in doubt is that for the next half an hour Warwick bossed the game. Talismanic 4th Year, and Player of the Season, Mark ‘Robinho’ Bridger dived in at the back post to level the scores, but just as the University boys pushed forward in an attempt to convert their possession into a lead, the half-time whistle blew.

The leavers, for whom this was their last experience of Poly Smashing, gave a rousing half-time speech but evidently Coventry had received the same Henry V like speech and the crowd had once again found their voices as they vocally demonstrated their blunt disdain for many of Warwick’s ginger contingent. Coventry had made a conscious decision to step up their aggression and unfortunately for Warwick the umpires, perhaps intimidated by the raucous home support, declined to intervene. The umpires also bizarrely declined to intervene as Coventry’s playmaker dribbled the ball off the side of the pitch, yet continued past a bemused Warwick defence to slot home from the top of the D. 2-1. It was apparent that Warwick hadn’t received the memo about the lack of the normal spatial boundaries expected during a hockey game. The protests from the wronged players fell on deaf ears but upon reviewing the video evidence we’re confident a full written apology will be written.

Their numerous grievances only served to spur on the side and before long they were once again dictating the run of play. Numerous Short Corners came their way and with 15 minutes remaining the fourth member of Team Ginger, Chris-T, finally put one into the back of the net to level the scores. With the momentum firmly swinging in their favour Warwick bombed forward, chance after chance befell the strikers, yet with five minutes remaining and Warwick knocking on the door, the Umpires once again changed the course of the game by sending off the enterprising conduit Tim Young for, as of yet, still unclarified reasons. As the game closed out Singaporean Goalkeeper Jason Hong made some incredible saves, the like of which have not been seen since the days of Peter Schmeichel, to keep the score at 2-2. This was how the game was to finish, with Jason deservingly picking up the MoM award.

The Coventry side, that have considerably upped their game from previous season, probably just about deserved their draw, yet the UWMHC boys will still go away disappointed to have lost their 100% win record in Varsity. Having said that they remain undefeated and will hold their heads high knowing that had Coventry accepted Warwick’s offer to put out four sides then even more Varsity points would have been heading back to CV4. No need to thank us Warwick Sport.

Varsity Preview

This was supposed to appear in the Boar at the start of the week but their publishing team don’t seem to be all that.

Having never even come close to losing a Varsity game it’s fair to say that the Hockey Club stand as firm favourites going into Sunday’s assemblage of fixtures. Yet it would be foolish to think that such pedigree is breeding complacency within the squads. After a season that epitomises the phrase ‘mixed fortunes’, all the players are determined to maintain their reputation by putting in a dominant display under the Sunday night lights at Westwood.

Having started the season with high hopes, Ben Askins’ 1st XI have found themselves embroiled in a relegation dog-fights on two fronts. Indeed this week’s Varsity fixture comes at the end of a crucial week of games for the side as they firstly take on fierce rivals Birmingham in a Wednesday BUCS game that will do much to decide who will hang onto their place in the Midlands 1A League, before heading to Stratford on Saturday in attempt to bolster their hopes of staying in the West Midlands Premier League. However, the turbulent results of the season to date are not necessarily a true reflection of the talent within the squad; talent that should be more than enough to overcome Coventry come Sunday.

The side’s defence have been solid throughout the year and have earned the side some of their more venerable results, including a 1-0 victory away at Loughborough. If the wind conditions are favourable then Tim Young’s aerial from right back could become a potent weapon. For all the sturdiness of the defence it is likely that the game will be won or lost in the midfield where much will rely on Sam Willmott. Sam’s play this year has earned him the sobriquet ‘Puppet Master’, when asked about the secret to his success Sam replied,

“I think quickly, look for spaces. That’s what I do: look for spaces. All day. I’m always looking. All day, all day. Here? No. There? No. People who haven’t played don’t always realise how hard that is. Space, space, space. I see the space and pass. That’s what I do.”

 In that space will be waiting one of the sides strikers who, whilst struggling occasionally during the course of the season, will be determined to slot home an abundance of goals come Sunday night.

George Cloake’s 2nd XI – more affectionately known as ‘The Chirps’ – have had a similarly mixed season, though since the Christmas break their form has been exemplary and a couple of more good results could signal the start of a late dash to board the promotion train. What isn’t in doubt is that Sunday’s Varsity game will produce goals. Coventry 2nd XI are notorious for their leaky defence and no doubt David Dougall will be on hand to take advantage of this. With 11 goals already this season the renowned Dougall is undoubtedly the one to watch going into the match. Whilst not wishing to count our chickens (or bears) too soon it does indeed seem that this fixture, against a side who only beat the Warwick 4th XI 2-1, may well turn into an entertaining goal scoring bonanza.

Whatever happens on the day it will be another great experience for all involved. We only lament the fact that more of Warwick’s Hockey players don’t get to participate in Varsity; all four teams would love the chance to compete if Coventry could put out as many teams as we do.