Wycombe Hockey Club men’s 1st XI are seeking new recruits for the upcoming 2019/2020 season. After two promotions in three seasons – from becoming MBBO Champions in 2016/2017 to gaining promotion from South Hockey League Premier Division 2 last season – the team are looking to build on this success. Part of this process is securing new or returning talent to bolster and augment the squad. Wycombe will play the 2019/2020 season in South Hockey League Premier Division 1, only one step away from England Hockey National League status.

The team currently trains and plays its home matches at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, near Marlow. Bisham Abbey boasts one of the finest hockey pitches in the world; the surface is identical to the one which will be used at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Bisham Abbey is home to the Great Britain and England men’s and women’s field hockey squads.

We are coached by experienced Great Britain and England player Ian Sloan. Ian has not only enjoyed success in his playing career but also on the sideline, leading Loughborough Students 2nd XI to BUCS glory and also to the Midlands Premier League title. He has followed this up with tremendous success at Wycombe HC; the team have improved year-on-year and this continual development has brought the men’s 1st XI to the top division of the South Hockey League. Ian is supported by Martin Sloan, an ex-international who represented Ireland 149 times with over 100 appearances as captain. Martin himself has had a long and distinguished career of coaching at youth and senior level, and takes over the reins when Ian is away on club or international duty.

Wycombe are captained by Will Holderness, a dynamic midfield player with an appetite for goalscoring. A player with National League experience from his time at Loughborough University, his leadership qualities are invaluable to the team. Will is a homegrown Wycombe HC product and he is certainly not the only one. The team have been hugely boosted by the return of serious homegrown talent in the last number of years, for example:

· Josh Mardell – a technically-gifted star player, currently playing in Australia

· Sam Burroughs – a player with immense natural talent; has represented England at underage level

· Dan Andrews – a drag-flicking specialist and our top goalscorer in the 2018/2019 season

· Jack Whelan – joining the team for the 2019/2020 season, having represented England at underage level and played in the England Hockey Premier League with Reading HC.

This abundance of Wycombe-produced talent is complemented by players with varied playing experiences. Attacking player Stephen Sloan has been playing for Wycombe for five seasons, having previously represented Ireland at u-16, u-18 and u-21 level. Stephen also has playing experience in the famous Euro Hockey League with his hometown club, Cookstown HC. Last season’s men’s 1st XI Player of the Season was defender Craig Baillie, a hockey player in the prime of his career and at the peak of his powers. This is just a small sample of the calibre of player we have here at Wycombe HC.

The team plays an exciting brand of hockey, with a healthy blend of possession-based and counter-attacking styles. One of the keys to last year’s success was a positive team ethos and a selfless team environment. New recruits will be expected to invest fully in this team-first approach.

Wycombe’s preseason begins on Monday 29th July and will take place on Mondays and Thursdays from 7.45 – 9.30.

Interested in joining Wycombe HC men on their quest for National League status? Contact Ian Sloan at [email protected]

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