South Saxons Hockey Club’s men’s first team heads into the new season hoping to do as well if not better than last term.
Saxons secured a very commendable top half finish in South Hockey League Kent/Sussex - Regional 2 last term having only been promoted the previous summer.
Jamie Busbridge stepped down as captain at the end of last season - his third at the helm - and has been replaced by Paddy Cornish, who was skipper for the previous three campaigns.
Cornish said: “It will be a tough call for us to outdo what we did last season, but I think we can do as well if not better. I think we’ve got as good a squad, if not stronger.”
Talented midfielder George Eldridge is back after missing almost all of 2016/17 with a serious knee injury, while Sam Bunday, who was previously at university, is back until at least Christmas.
Nick Taylor and Lloyd Williams - two players who spent most of last season playing further down the club - may well feature for the front side more often in 2017/18.
“We’ve got good depth and a number of players who can play in various positions, which is always helpful,” continued Cornish. “We’re hopeful we can do something this year.”
Saxons, who are being coached by Jeremy Bunday this term, have contested one pre-season friendly. A depleted side performed very well in a 7-6 defeat away to Brighton & Hove seconds, who were promoted from Saxons’ division last season.
The serious stuff will begin with a visit from Horsham seconds today (Saturday). Saxons finished two places and 11 points above Horsham last term.
“I’m looking forward to it,” added Cornish. “We played them quite late on last year and I remember it being quite a twitchy one. We’re always confident at home, but you can’t take anything for granted in this league - any of those clubs can get a result against anyone.”
Toby Reed is unavailable, but apart from that Saxons should be just about at full strength for a match which will get underway from 1.30pm at Horntye Park.