Squads ready for new season challenges

Reporter:

Rob Bellis

THE footballers may be struggling to find their form, but one team in Wrexham are getting ready for a new season on the back of one of their most successful in recent years.

Wrexham Glyndwr Hockey Club are based at the university from which they take their name, where they play on an international-standard pitch of artificial turf.

Training for the impending season is well underway with the men’s first XI working hard to prepare for the first game of the campaign against local rivals Northop Hall.

The two sides last met in the North Wales Cup semi-final at the end of last season which resulted in a convincing win for Wrexham who then went on to beat Rhyl in the final.

Wrexham’s top men’s team is captained by 27-year-old Gareth Kelshaw, who has led the side for the past two years.

He said: “We had a very good season last year and we won the (North Wales) Premier Cup which we were very pleased about.

“This year we have an even stronger side with the addition of a few more players, some of whom have returned to the team having been to university, so we’re really looking forward to getting out there playing again.”

The ball may not have been struck competitively yet but the team have already set their sights high.

“We’re aiming for promotion this season,” Gareth continued. “The league we are in is a very good, competitive one, but you’re always looking to improve. We’re training hard and the addition of new players should help us to achieve that.”

Wrexham Glyndwr Hockey Club has enjoyed numerous successes since its formation more than a century ago.

Formed as Wrexham Mens’ Hockey Club in 1896 (while the Ladies’ first records are dated 1898) the current club is an amalgamation of Wrexham and another well-known club – Monsanto.

Monsanto hockey club formed after the First World War and took its name from the American company that took over the Graesser chemical works in 1926.

The club played its at the Bont Ground, in the shadow of Telford’s famous Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and it’s record was unequalled in North Wales, winning more regional leagues and cups then any other side.

The two clubs merged in 2000 and, today, Wrexham Glyndwr caters, not just for the elite players, but for all ages and abilities.

Pat Sharples is the club’s vice chair (ladies).

She said: “We have teams right across the board these days - four mens’ teams and two ladies’, as well as various juniors.

“We run various different levels from social to competitive hockey and we’ve recently started doing mixed hockey which has been a really good thing.

“We’re always really keen to see more people getting involved, the more the merrier. We want to get more juniors and seniors playing hockey.”

See full story in the Leader

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