Spalding Juniors hosted Newark u10s and played a series of matches against their Boys’ and Girls’ teams. This was the first experience of playing half-pitch for some of the young players and they had the opportunity to show their skills and work together as a team. The majority of Spalding’s players have at least another year at this age group, some have two, and will look to develop on these matches as they move towards their next challenge of the Peter Leaton Cup at Peterborough at the end of April.
The club also took the opportunity to give their large contingent of u12 players the chance to play together in a game-based situation by inviting all players of the age group along to an inter-club tournament. Being the start of the school holidays several players were unavailable, but 30 u12s still turned out to play a round robin scenario against their clubmates. This was a fantastic opportunity for many of the players of this age group who will soon be eligible to make the daunting next step to Senior hockey when they turn 13. The coaches were delighted to see an excellent display of hockey as the 5 teams battled out against each other.
This event also offered the chance for several of the club’s youngsters to get involved as umpires. With the support of Lincs County Umpire coaches, seven youngsters took charge of the matches, for three of whom it was the first time they had picked up a whistle. All developed well throughout the day, improving their decisions as they grew with confidence with the help from the coaches.
SHC will look to offer a further similar opportunity before the summer break to the large number of u12 members of the club.