Developing talents can boost City glory bid

Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland
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COACH Chris Wimshurst is confident City of Portsmouth can step into the promotion race.

The club will be unleashing more talented young players to help ensure the future is bright.

City’s men’s section has four teams with the first team playing their hockey in Hampshire League division one.

The club intend to be involved in this year’s promotion race and hope to bring new players to the club that want to build for their future.

First-team boss Wimshurst will look to the thriving youth sections as he aims to bring players through.

He said: ‘This club has a fantastic history of building young players and seeing them go on to represent county, divisional and national teams.

‘I want to see a return to that set up, we have several promising youngsters at the club coming through the youth set up and development team thanks to the hard work of a host of club members.

‘We need to give them something to aim for as they improve.’

City of Portsmouth Ladies will play in Hampshire division one but with their sights set at an even higher level.

They have former men’s first team coach Alf Wimshurst, who has stepped out of retirement.

He said: ‘I am looking forward to this new challenge.

‘It has been 20 years since I helped guide the men’s team to the national league and I can see potential to move the ladies’ side in the same direction.’

Ladies captain Katie Spooner is hoping all three of the club teams can push for success.

She said: ‘We have come on leaps and bounds and progressed as a unit.

‘New players are more than welcome to join our friendly, enthusiastic and energetic teams to help us push for a triple promotion year.’

Pre-season training is on Thursdays with fun-based fitness sessions on the playing fields next to St Johns College at Farlington.

All newcomers are welcome and there is no charge for those sessions.

Stick and ball training will begin in September on Thursday evenings between 7pm to 10pm, again.

Newcomers are welcome and these sessions will take place on the university pitch on Furze Lane where the club play home matches.

New and returning players are invited to contact Chris Wimshurst on his email chriswimshurst@gmail.com if they would like to talk about playing for the men’s section.

For information about the ladies’ section email Alf Wimshurst on alfwimshurst@ntlworld.com

Junior players train at Admiral Lord Nelson School on a Saturday morning from 9am to 10.30am. New players are welcome to attend.

They break for the summer holidays but will be running again from September. Age groups range from under-eight (five years and up) to under-16 for boys and girls.

Email Alf or Chris for details about the junior section. See cophc.co.uk for more information.