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Gents 5s captain interview

Hi Donnie,

Can you present your team ?

The Gents 5th team embodies the family ethos that underpins Uddingston Hockey Club. It shows that at Uddingston ‘hockey for all’ is a commitment, not just a phrase. The 5th XI spans the full age range of the club in senior mens hockey with players ranging in age from early teens starting out in their hockey careers to those in their late 50’s and 60’s in the twilight of their playing career.  It includes former internationalists keen to mentor and teach the emerging young players, older players who no longer have the legs or stamina for higher level hockey and even Dads that have started hockey later in life as their sons or daughters play for the club and they have been bitten by the hockey bug. The range in ability in the team is just as wide as the age range. 

What do you think of the team season ?

The team have had an enjoyable season finishing mid table.  Consistency in performances is difficult week to week given the constant changes in the squad line up with over 40 players having played for the 5th XI this year.  That said the team have put in some great performances, won a number of games against much higher ranked opposition and have been in contention in the vast majority of games played.  It is really encouraging to have seen some of the young teenagers playing their first senior hockey games, some playing on full size pitches for the very first time.  Not only have they risen to the challenge, they have excelled and cemented their place in the squad with some progressing on to higher teams.  The youth policy is clearly playing dividends and the link up play and skills shown by the youngsters has been great to watch.  I think it's fair to say that the young dogs can still teach us old dogs a few tricks.  As for the older players and ‘new' older players it’s great to see the passion and enthusiasm for the game is still there and the team spirit this year has been high. 

What are your goals for the next season ?

Probably two in the roof of the net, a couple of solo efforts, a few deflections and maybe one or two just trickling over the line and being claimed by my team mates.  Oh sorry, not those sort of goals.  I would hope to continue to see the emerging youngsters continue to rise through the teams and a new influx of youngsters getting their first taste of senior hcckey with the 5s.  I would also hope some of the older players in the higher teams consider dropping to the 5s to make way for the emerging talent rather than hang up their sticks and stop active participation in playing,  There is most definitely a place in the 5s for the oldies as well as the youngsters.  A more stable and consistent line up would be good but it is recognised that the 5s are very much a supporting and supply team to the higher squads.  This year we were leading in a significant number of games and lost out due to some late goals.  What I would like to see is a wider attendance and participation in training by the 5th team squad list so that fitness is improved and stamina, or lack thereof does not become a factor towards the end of games next season.

What do you think of Uddingston cricket & sports club ?

I’ve been a  member at the Club for over 40 years now and it’s been a huge part of my life.  I’ve grown up at and through the Club, from the games I’ve played and the shared experiences.  I’ve been mentored by some outstanding people over the years. I continue to be inspired by the members and the success the club has achieved over this time and in the last few years in particular.  The club is an outstanding environment for youngsters to develop in, for us older members to reminisce in, keep playing as long as we can, and hopefully give something back. Uddy ‘More than just a Club’.

gents 5s

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