Paul Croker

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So far Paul Croker has created 47 blog entries.

Club7s kick Start Season

Hello there! As we look forward to the start of the new season we kick things off with our Club 7s event. This is the 10th year we have been running this and it also support the England Hockey campaign - HockeyFest. HOCKEYFEST WESTBURY'S 10th CLUB 7s   When : Saturday 31st August Where : Coombe Dingle Sports Complex Time : 1:00-3:00pm Kick off the new season at Westbury with our popular Club 7s For all senior and Academy members Look out for a Teamer message to sign up to take part (out by 16th August) Fees £10 seniors £5 Academy Westberries will be holding their Hockeyfest Club Day 11-1pm Please accept on Teamer by Saturday 24th August, teams and schedule published the next day.

Club7s kick Start Season2019-08-19T20:50:29+00:00

Westbury celebrations at end of year dinner

  It was an evening of celebration for Westbury & United Banks Hockey club at their end of season dinner held once again at the County Ground on Friday 29 March.   100 club members, former players and guests came together for the club’s dinner which this year celebrates its 95th anniversary. This season has seen 3 promotions in the Verde South West and Wales Hockey League with the 2s securing promotion from Central 1 as champions with the 3s securing promotion from West Central 1 and the 6s securing promotion from West Central 3. Fielding 7 senior men’s sides in the winter league as well as 4 summer league teams Westbury is one of the largest hockey clubs in the area.     It wasn’t just a celebration of the senior men’s league sides because the club has also fielded teams in the O40s and O50s England hockey championships. The U18s which was formed last season also have had a promising cup run in the England Hockey champs. Many of those players have progressed through the ever growing Westbury Academy which starts with the U8s. 170 players have played for a senior team this season as well as 155 with the Academy in a festival or tournament.   GB Olympic Medal winner - Simon Mason Guest speaker - triple Olympian goalkeeper - Simon Mason shared his experience of his playing career as well as observations on the development of the game. He also provided superb insight and reflections on some of the challenges sportsmen and women face.   Club Captain Jon Bower addressing the room   Commenting on the evening, club captain Jon Bower said ‘it has been a privilege

Westbury celebrations at end of year dinner2019-04-08T18:37:00+00:00

Summer League 2019

BRISTOL & DISTRICT SUMMER LEAGUE The Summer League is now just two months away and it is time to start planning! Each team usually has a squad of around 18 for a 9 match season running from May to July. Matches are midweek evenings usually starting at 7:30pm. Most games are in the Bristol area. Home nights: Tuesdays = Bluebottles & Bishops (lower pitch) Wednesdays =  Angels & Cardinals (lower pitch) Various:= Devils (lower pitch) The standard in the summer is often higher than we face in our winter games so it is a good challenge for everyone who plays. We go to The Duck for post match drinks and most opposing teams have a hospitality venue. (NB. No food is provided after summer matches!) Fancy a game? Give us a shout clicking on this LINK HERE and we will talk directly with you and see what we can do. Even if you don't play for us during the winter season. Umpires: The home teams provide both umpires. A message will go out to our regular umpires from the Team Secretary to check your availability. If you are not a qualified umpire and would like to get some umpiring experience please let us know. The development games are the perfect opportunity to get started.

Summer League 20192019-03-11T19:06:41+00:00

Book now for Masters Tournament – June 9th 2019

  It might seem like a while away, but we are already planning and organising our Masters' Tournament.   The schedule: The tournament will be 11-a-side. We will have either a ‘round robin’ competition, or 2 pools and cross over finals depending on the number of entries. Bar facilities will be available throughout the day Matches will be played on the sand based artificial turf pitches. The pitches will be booked from 12:00 – 4:00. (The playing schedule will be sent out closer to the date) Cost: The charge is currently £130 per team Age: The event is for masters players (40+) but most teams bring a spread of players from all the masters’ age groups. However, we appreciate that some clubs may not have a full complement of veterans available and we would not want to prevent them from taking part. If you find you are a couple of players short, please feel free to put in some ‘near 40 year olds’ to make up your team. This is an opportunity to give future masters players a taster of what is to come. If you find your masters goalkeeper is unavailable (a problem we often have), you are welcome to include a younger goalkeeper. Goalkeeping is a specialist skill and it is best to have an experienced keeper rather than an outfield player putting on the pads! What to do next: Please email us on  with your details and we can get you added. Click here for our PDF flyer - Masters Tournament 9th June 2019

Book now for Masters Tournament – June 9th 20192018-12-23T22:53:34+00:00

50 Westbury Academy players take part in local Festival

On Sunday 9th December we participated in a mini festival hosted by Redland Hockey Club at Badminton School. It has been a few years since we have had a festival on our doorstep and we took full advantage - 5 teams and 50 academy players represented Westbury and United Banks at Under 10 and Under 12 level. We saw some great hockey played with fantastic spirit and sportsmanship. We had plenty of volunteer coaches and umpires on hand, and the touchline was packed with enthusiastic and encouraging parents. This is what academy hockey is all about. Thank you to everybody who was involved, we have plans in the pipeline for more local hockey in the second half of the season.

50 Westbury Academy players take part in local Festival2018-12-12T10:59:51+00:00

Kicking off our Outreach programme with local schools

St Ursulas E-ACT Academy This is John Swann from Westbury & United Banks HC  kicking off the season’s outreach project. In these photos we are helping to deliver hockey to year 6 at St. Ursula’s E-Act Academy on 26th October. You can see we are using our brand new kit supplied by England Hockey.   ElmLea Junior School Jon Bower took time out from his working day to support our Outreach programme this time with ElmLea Juniors. Here is what Jon had to say.. Excellent afternoon off work helping @ElmleaJuniorSch Y5 girls hockey team in a tournament @BadmintonSchool - undefeated and without conceding they won it; lots of @WestburyHockey and CliftonLadiesHC players in side - credit to regular coach Emma Hinkins who couldn’t be there

Kicking off our Outreach programme with local schools2018-11-07T20:29:16+00:00

New Academy kit from England Hockey

During the Women’s World Cup this summer we entered another, rather less energetic England Hockey competition, one that required some creative thought and no need to step onto a pitch. The goal was to win a bag full of new quick sticks equipment.  In typical Westbury and UB winning style, victory was ours and just in time for the new season, our sparkly new kit was delivered; 25 sticks, 25 balls and games cards, all in a lovely new bag. It was just as well, on our opening Sunday academy session we coached over 180 children, including many novices who had need for the sticks. So a big thank you to England Hockey, we will be using the equipment not only on a Sunday morning, but also for our outreach sessions that we deliver to local primary schools

New Academy kit from England Hockey2018-09-22T11:04:36+00:00

Success for our U14s

The Under 14 team enter the Under 16 Tournament just to give the players extra experience, particularly as they have to play against teams who are collectively two years older than them. The U14s gradually improved their game play as the tournament progressed and enjoyed their involvement in the tournament. They Lost 2-0 to Bristol & West, then 1-0 to Weston-Super-Mare. In the return games the U14s pressed hard verses Bristol & West but couldn't find the net, again they lost 2-0. Against Weston, Westbury stepped up a gear and were unlucky not to score. The game finished 0-0 showing how they had progressed during the day's play. Having finished bottom of the group they then contested the 'Plate Final' facing Cheltenham who had held the U16s to a draw and a close defeat. Westbury were superb and dominated the game with strong performances across the team. They deservedly scored two late goals to win the 'Plate final'. Michael Coles broke down the right to square the ball to Adam Smith to score the first goal. A couple of minutes later Adam scored an identical goal with Jack Manly providing the run and cross. The team finished on 'a high' and can take great credit from their performances. They came to gain experience and have fun playing and capped it off by bringing home a trophy. Team: Michael Coles, James Briggs, Patrick Ainsley, Amelie Purvis, Jago Tye, Jack Manley, Cameron Shimmell, John Donald, Adam Smith, Amber Shippey, Sacha Wild. Supported by senior players Chris Bennett, Pete Murphy and Simon Manley

Success for our U14s2018-07-05T19:16:58+00:00

U16s do it again!

More good news for our U16s On Sunday 24th June Westbury U16s won the Bristol & West Under 16 Tournament for the third year in a row making it three successive league and tournament double seasons. Only three of last year's winning side took part with the 'class of 2017-18' being assembled as a new team keep up the winning run. Two pools of three meant two games each against Cheltenham and Cirencester, who are always strong sides at this level. Cheltenham were beaten 1-0 (Charlie Smith) and Cirencester held 1-1 (Jakob Szpojnarowicz). In the return games Cheltenham held the U16s to a 0-0 draw whilst Cirencester were beaten 1-0 (Charlie Smith). These results meant Westbury finished top of the group ahead of Cirencester. The semi-final against host club Bristol & West saw Jakob Szpojnarowicz score two thumping goals before heading off to A&E for 5 stitches after a collision with the home goalkeeper. In the final Westbury were on top but couldn't find the net against Cirencester who had won their semi-final on penalty strokes. The game ended 0-0. The result was going to be decided by penalty strokes. After 5 strokes each it was 2-2 with Charlie Lynde and Josh Wright scoring and Cameron Davis saving three B&W penalty stokes. Sudden death saw both team score twice (Charlie Lynde and Charlie Smith) with Cameron saving one. After 8 strokes it was still tied 4-4. Josh Wright was then on target with number nine and Cameron Davis made his 5th save of the shoot out to secure victory. An exciting, heart stopping finish to an excellent day's hockey. Charlie Lynde completed the day with a broken finger but showed grit and determination typical of

U16s do it again!2018-07-05T19:06:45+00:00

On BBC Radio Bristol

On Wednesday 21 March we were interviewed on BBC Radio Bristol to talk about the great work we are doing as a club in terms of the development on the field with our senior sides and Academy as well as our work in the community with Quiksticks taking place with local schools. You can listen to Club Captain Will Jones, 1st team Captain Gareth Nichols and Welfare Officer Jon Bower being interviewed by Geoff Twentyman during the first half hour or so of the Sports Store show which looks at grassroots sport each week. The interview with Geoff Twentyman has been split into two parts below Part 1  Part 2    

On BBC Radio Bristol2018-03-26T20:08:34+00:00