Dear Club Members,

For those who are new, welcome. For all existing players welcome back. I’m sure most people know by now but by way of introduction I’m Phil Stubley the Club Chair.

We had some great results last weekend (Women’s 4XI, Men’s 2XI) and some not so good results. But just to keep you in the loop I did manage to score myself (from less than 1 yard). Well done to everyone who played, I hope you enjoyed the competitive return as much as I did.

Looking ahead to the next few weeks we will face many challenges as a club. There are many things going on behind the scenes along with new administration systems (ClubBuzz & GMS). The work Ed Richardson is doing on ClubBuzz is reducing administration across the club. This will benefit you and your Captain (if you have one). I have utilised ClubBuzz myself paying my subs and last Saturday’s match fee. I found it very easy to use. The new England Hockey GMS system is proving more of a challenge for us. The disruption you won’t see is the work and organising behind the scenes in trying to understand when and where a fixture is on. Something the Men’s 6’s unfortunately have discovered already, resulting in their game last Saturday being cancelled. However, when the GMS is working properly it will have many benefits for us all. Please be patient with us whilst we continue to adjust and establish information from this system. I know it is hard for everyone to look ahead on there at present, but in time that will change. GMS is being run by England Hockey so we are in their hands as to when it will be fully up and running. They have not been able to give us a target date for this, but we will keep you informed as best we can.

As we approach the start of the season, we are still short of Captains and an Umpire Coordinator. Without people stepping up to help you will see gaps. Sharing roles is very welcome – for example, the Ladies 5’s have decided to share Captaincy. Please do come forward if you are interested and would like to talk about a role. But please understand that if no one is in that role, certain elements that used to be done by them may not be completed.

Your Availability – This is crucial for us to provide teams. We need you to communicate with our Captains when you can or cannot play – you are able to add dates you are not available on ClubBuzz under ‘Omissions’ in ‘My Profile‘. Chasing players for availability makes every Captains role challenging. Please do what you can to make this as easy as possible for us all.

Training – We are still waiting confirmation from Beckett to use their pitch on Thursdays. We have temporary plans in place for these sessions and we are communicating them week on week. Thank you to everyone who has adapted to this and been able to change their plans. Apologies to those who have had to miss out as a result of the changes. We expect this to be resolved by October.

The Season Ahead – Missing a full competitive season is a strange way to arrive where we are. I ask everyone to enjoy themselves whilst playing, treat ourselves and our oppositions with respect, and support each other if any challenges arise. I wish all teams as much success as possible this season.

Club Culture – I have thought a lot over the summer about the culture I would like to bring to the club. I look at our club and see that we provide an opportunity for everyone to participate. We must continue to do this. Reflecting on post game integration though, I am asking all teams to move away from the commonly known D*ck of the Day voting. I have partaken in this myself many times in the past and been on the receiving end of it. I now think it’s time to move on from this. We should ensure there is a positive environment for members pre and post game. Think as teams how you don’t just celebrate the effort of the best player, but how others have contributed. Some teams have already adapted this approach and it would be great to see all teams join in this approach.

I will close off this welcome to the season with a big thank you to these key people; Carl Smith, Matt Dobson, Sam Mawer, Chris Devine, Ed Richardson, Shannon Davey and Mike Pounder. The work they have put in over the summer to get us all back playing has been amazing. If you see them, please thank them and buy them a drink. You would not be playing hockey this weekend had they not put the time and effort into their roles.

Good luck for the season.

Go well.

Phil Stubley

Club Chair