Sidmouth and Ottery hockey clubs to consider merger

MEMBERS of Sidmouth and Ottery Crickets hockey clubs have been asked to consider merging in a bid to maintain hockey in the area.

The chairman of Sidmouth Hockey Club, Ian Mackie, has written to Sidmouth members outlining the idea behind a merger.

In the letter, Mr Mackie said: “The thinking behind the proposal is very simple: both Sidmouth and Ottery have been struggling for players for a while and it isn’t going to get any easier. Ottery has already taken their men’s fourth team out of the league and will be doing the same with their men’s thirds next season.

“As chairman of Sidmouth, I contacted Mark Moore, chairman of Ottery, to see if they would be interested in the two clubs joining together; their response was positive.

“The amalgamation is, of course, subject to a vote by all club members on both sides.”

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Should the merger go ahead, it would be anticipated that the new club would field six men’s teams and four ladies’ teams. Turn to page 51

Although both sides have youth sections, Mr Mackie said neither would be producing players for the senior teams in the next two or three seasons.

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He said: “We are also looking to bring more young players into hockey, and to have a coaching set up for all teams at levels that they are best suited to.

“All players in all teams pay the same subscription and match fees and are, therefore, entitled to the same quality of training and coaching.

“In recent years, this has not been possible for us due to limited number of people who have their coaching badges.”

He also explained that, with changes to the league structure, the men’s first team could struggle with its existing squad and, if the clubs merge, the second teams for both men and ladies would be in the same leagues.

Should both clubs vote in favour of the merger, the teams would continue to play at Ottery and Sidmouth, but the Sidmouth clubhouse at the Fortfield, would be the main base, training nights would be split according to teams and coaching provided for all and a change of name would be voted on by all club members.

The proposal will be discussed by Sidmouth Hockey Club at an EGM on Monday, May 14, at 7.30pm, at Sidmouth Cricket Club, while members of Ottery Crickets will also get the chance to discuss the proposal at their own meeting.

Should it go ahead, the expectation is that this would be implemented for the start of the 2012-13 season.

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