The new English Hockey Premier Division season begins this weekend for Beeston Hockey Ladies, they welcoming the newly-promoted University of Nottingham side to the Nottingham Hockey Centre.
Looking to build on last season’s endeavours, one which saw the Bees finish well in the league, and lift the cup, James Sordillo, Zoe Hainsworth et al have strengthened well, bringing in a plethora of new signings.
Internationals are among the six new players Sordillo has brought in, including the latter of the announcement, Irish international, Jane Kilpatrick (from Belfast Harlequins), as well as Scottish international, Charlotte Watson (Loughborough University, member of Scotland’s Commonwealth Games squad, and part of the Great Britain, Paris Olympics squad), signings of which delight the management team at the Bees.
On signing Kilpatrick and Watson, Sordillo began by saying: “Jane’s quality speaks for itself.
“We rate Jane really highly and everyone you speak to about her has a similar opinion.
“It helps that Jane already has a connection having played with a number of the squad at a previous club but I’m sure she will fit in seamlessly and hit the ground running.
“Charlotte fits into the group really well and that has been clear from day one of indoor.
“She is exactly the sort of person we want to bring in and on top of that she is a superb attacking player.
“I have no doubt that Charlotte, along with the other players joining us for the new season will helps us on that journey.
“Having been around the squad already it was great to see connections already starting to build and Charlotte will add to our already exciting attacking threat.
“It’s been a successful off-season, and we’ve added more depth to the squad ahead of the new one which begins this weekend.
“Last season was the highest we’ve finished; it was a good, building season for us and we certainly caught a few teams by surprise.
“We did have a large number of players so it took a little time for everything to settle down.
“The two games, last season, with East Grinstead, were probably the key points for us, and we also let ourselves down when we played Birmingham,” Sorillo explained on last season’s endeavours, “there was some frustrating times as well, like Loughborough, but it is what it is – if we’d got something there, then we’d have pushed ourselves towards fourth place.”
As well as the signings of Kilpatrick and Watson, the Bees have also added that of Lauren Dunn (from Swansea), and the returning trio of Erin Anderson (Ulster Elks), Jess Hood (Durham University), and Harriet Dougan (Wimbledon), the latter trio having played for the Bees in 2019.
“I’m delighted all three players will return to the squad for the coming season,” added Sordillo.
“They will no doubt make important contributions on and off the field.
“Having worked with all three players before I’m excited for them to join up with the squad again and get going! I’m particularly excited to see their growth after a year in a different environment.
“I’m sure they are going to make a big impact for Beeston and for Trent University in their BUCS campaign this season.”
“There’s a really good team chemistry and we’ve identified some high quality players going into the new season.
“These are players that can bring something to the team and help get us over that line (into the playoffs).
“Looking ahead to the new campaign, we’d love to win the cup again, of course – winning really is a habit.
“There’s also some quality in this league, especially where the playoffs are concerned, so we’ll see what happens there.
“But yes, we do want to finish in the top six, then push for that top four spot, and see what we can do in one-off games – if we make it, then we’ll go for it.”
Beeston Ladies start their new campaign with the season opener at home to newly-promoted, Nottingham University, on Saturday 24 September.
*Article provided by Peter Mann (Senior Correspondent).
*Main image @OfficialBeeHC Beeston Ladies are looking for a winning start to the campaign.