Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club is back

Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club

Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club - Credit: Archant

Fixtures planned for the weekend

There is understandable excitement across all local sports that training and fixtures are now back on the menu after the second lockdown.

Sidmouth & Ottery Hockey Club have been training this week and games will resume on Saturday.

The challenge now is to restore some sharpness and a competitive edge to the players.

“The ladies returned to training on Wednesday night and we hope to have sessions for everyone at the club before Christmas,” said club secretary Karen Dutton.

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“The exact numbers we can accommodate will depend on pitch availability but we’re all very excited to be back playing.

“Most of our league games restart on Saturday but we’re waiting for confirmation on teams we are scheduled to play in the Bristol area, who are in tier three.

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“As we understand, those teams cannot travel to us and neither can we travel to them. It’s something we just need confirming by England Hockey.

“The majority of our lower teams will be able to get back playing this weekend, as they compete in local leagues. It is only our first-teams for men and women struggling at the moment.

“There is the possibility of rejigging of fixtures to play more local sides for now but we do also have to take into consideration that nobody has played any hockey for four weeks.

“Bringing players back into high-intensity, competitive games could be a struggle, especially for the first-team players.

“There is a chance we can arrange friendly games for them but it is just a case of finding an available opponent.”

Whatever the arrangements, and it will be a challenge for all fixture secretaries, the overriding emotion is one of excitement to be back playing sport.

“One of our ladies was so enthusiastic that she sent 12 different thumbs-up replies when we confirmed training was back on,” added Karen.

“At this stage, it is just a case of enjoying some hockey because nobody can predict how things will develop for the season.

“We have concerns over what might happen after Christmas but it is impossible to speculate.

“We can only respond to the situation in front of us.

“The only element we can control is to enjoy playing hockey and to hopefully get the juniors involved again because they are the future of our sport.”

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