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  • Writer's pictureWitney Hockey Club

Chair's Welcome to the 24/25 Season



Welcome to Witney Hockey Club and the 2024-25 season. I’d like to formally introduce myself as Andy Gosnell-Whyman. I have taken over from Liam Frost as Chair this season. On behalf of everyone involved in WHC, players, juniors, parents and friends of the club I’d like to thank Liam for the huge amounts of hard work he has put into the club over the past 5 years. He, alongside a hardworking committee, has steered the club to an incredible position.


Please see the following sections below depending on what is relevant to you.



 

New Pitch


We are incredibly excited to formally announce that we have secured the resurfacing of the pitch at Wood Green School this summer. Liam has worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to get a resurfacing plan in place. This is the first time that the Wood Green School pitch has been resurfaced since it was first opened in 2004. We have also entered a more formal partnership with Wood Green School in becoming the sole tenants of the Astro pitch. This gives us the opportunity and flexibility to have sessions throughout the year and the ability to offer even more hockey to our members and community.


Whilst that will bring some disruption to the early season, with work due to begin in early August, we hope you share our belief that it will be worth it once we are playing on a world-leading surface in the Autumn. The current scheduled works are due to finish in late September, so we will have to relocate temporarily, more details below regarding training and fixtures.


 

Training July/Aug/Sept


We have worked hard to try and maintain the pre-season we have had over recent years alongside the pitch disruption. Please see more information below.


Juniors


Junior training sessions will start on the week commencing 15th July for four weeks, followed by a 7 week break.


To ensure our juniors don’t miss out on any hockey this season, we have made the decision to start sessions earlier this year. We won’t be able to run junior sessions whilst we temporarily relocate to Cokethorpe school as they have no floodlights. We have explored other pitch options but there is no easy solution. Please be assured that our juniors will still get the same amount of hockey as they have in previous seasons.


The sessions will run for 4 weeks until the week commencing 5th August. There will then be 7 weeks where we are unable to run any junior training sessions. The current works plan means we will be on the new pitch for the week commencing 30th September. That is dependent on the new pitch and we will update all parents in September when we know more definitively how the pitch is progressing.


We will also be running junior sessions in both October and February half terms this year which we haven’t previously.


Some sessions have changed times and days. This is for a number of reasons: securing Level 2 coaches for all sessions, increased numbers in some age groups and the fact we now have greater booking capacity at Wood Green alongside our partnership and becoming the pitch’s sole tenants. Please see full training times on the website.



Seniors


Senior club training will begin on the week commencing 5th August.


Seniors will be training at Wood Green until the last available date in pre-season, proposed to be the week commencing 12th August, and then we will move to Cokethorpe while the pitch is resurfaced. Due to Cokethorpe having no floodlights, we will move all sessions earlier to 6 - 7:30pm. All senior sessions will stay on the same day, just an earlier slot. This was the best option available to us and is only temporary before we have access to our amazing new surface.


Team captains will communicate training times to their respective squads and all details are also found on the website. Some sessions have changed days, so please check your new training slot below.



 

Membership


It was agreed at the club AGM that membership fees for the 2024-25 season are as follows.


  • Seniors - £190 (Early Bird £160)

  • Juniors - £110 (£90 Family Discount)

  • Juniors attending Senior Training - £135

  • New Members - £120

  • GK with own kit - £30


Please complete membership on the buttons below.


The club is always looking for new members in both the Senior and Junior sections. Please invite anyone who would like to take up hockey or is interested in joining the club. Prospective members can get in touch by social media or on the contact form on our website.




 

Volunteers Needed


Thank you to all the parents who helped out on Sundays last year. This allows us to enter more teams and give our juniors more games to play. We want to expand our offering further and we’re looking for parents or senior members to take on Junior Team Manager roles. Any parents or existing senior members interested in helping out or looking for more information, please contact Junior Coordinator Lucy Regan using the contact form on this page.


 

Sponsorship & Advertising


We have an incredible opportunity to raise funds for the club by selling advertising and sponsorship space at the pitch. We are selling 6ft by 2ft sponsorship boards for £400 for the 2024/25 season. If you own a business, have a family member who does, or know someone who may be interested in purchasing a board to advertise whilst supporting the club, please contact us here.


 

2023-24 Round-Up


On the men’s side, our 4 teams consolidated their positions in the top half of their respective leagues following some being promoted last year. Special mention goes to Sam Regan who, as a junior playing men’s hockey, top-scored for the club.


On the ladies' side, our 5 teams also consolidated their league standings, all finishing at least midtable. The stand-out performance were the Ladies 4s, who secured back-to-back promotions after finishing 2nd this season.


 

There is a huge amount to be excited about in the upcoming season as the club continues to grow and the prospect of playing on our world-leading new pitch. I hope to see many of you over the season.


Andy Gosnell-Whyman

Chair

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