A PLUM line-up for Bedford Ladies

Hockey news
Hockey news

Bedford Hockey Club ladies’ first team have announced their pre-season schedule ahead of an exciting return to the Investec National League East Conference.

They will travel to newly-promoted Conference North side Cannock in Staffordshire on Saturday, August 26, before hosting Leamington of the Midlands Premier and then the Loughborough Students on the following two Saturdays.

Finally, the week before the season starts, the squad will travel to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London for the PLUM tournament, with the fixture for this event still to be confirmed.

Speaking about the schedule, captain Rachel Jackson said: “We are pleased we have been able to confirm our target fixtures for our pre-season programme.

“It gives us a good mixture of opposition from the National League as well as new teams that will pose different challenges to the group.

“Participating in the PLUM will also be great for team spirit and playing at an iconic venue is always exciting.

“This tournament is also the warm-up for the umpires so we can ensure we are on the same page before our league campaign starts. We’re all really excited to be back on the pitch.”

In further pre-season news, the squad was back in training this week working with new strength and conditioning coach Nick Card.

Card works at Premiership rugby side Northampton Saints, plus the English Institute of Sport – and also plays hockey.

Card is creating a specific programme akin to the types of fitness needed during hockey games with lots of short, sharp speed work as well as core-strength drills which will help to prevent injuries.

He said: “It’s the squad’s objective to be the fittest in the league. That is a part of the game that is very controllable so I am looking forward to getting started this week and helping prepare the team to play in the top echelon of English hockey.”

The club are recruiting this summer and keen to hear from anyone interested in playing.

There are six ladies’ teams catering for all ages and abilities.

Email katecostin@btinternet.com or visit www.bedfordhockeyclub.com.