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HomeHOCKEYTim Warrington: a man on a ‘premier’ mission

Tim Warrington: a man on a ‘premier’ mission

Earlier this year the Sevenoaks Men’s 1st XI were crowned England Hockey National Conference East Champions and they will now compete in the England Hockey Premier League for
the 2017/18 season, the first time in the club’s 105 year history.

In their opening match of the season, Sevenoaks will face league stalwarts Reading at home. The match will take place on Saturday 23rd September. We had a chat with Tim Warrington, the men’s 1st team captain, here’s what he had to say:

How are the club preparing for the new season?
“There has been an awful lot of work going on behind the scenes to ensure that we’re prepared on and off the pitch for our Premier League campaign.

We’re working hard on recruitment to try and strengthen the squad with two or three top class players – we’re not looking for wholesale changes because we believe in the squad that got us promoted, but we are conscious that there is always scope to add a little bit of extra quality to help us with the step up.

With regards to pre-season, we start full training on the 27th July, giving us around 8 weeks to get up to speed ahead of the opening weekend.

Since Duncan Parnis, our player-coach, took over at the club three seasons ago we have gradually built up our pre-season programme to be aligned with the Premier League clubs already, so
we are not really starting any earlier than previous years.

The league does actually start a week later this year, so we do have one extra week of pre-season as a result of the change to the league calendar.”

How do you expect to feel leading the team out on the first day?
“I think personally I’ll feel a huge sense of achievement. I have never played in the Premier League, but have always wanted to test myself at that level.

When I joined the club nine seasons ago, I always dreamt that we would one day be a Premier League club.

There have been some ups and downs since I first pulled on the purple shirt but to be realising my ambition to play at the highest domestic level in the country, and to be doing it, as captain, with a club I’ve grown to love is something I’m super proud of.

I think there will be a few nerves too – we’ll be facing up against Reading who have been a top Premier League team for as long as I can remember, regularly finishing in the top four – but they’ll be good nerves. This is where we want to be as a team and we can’t wait to get going!“

What are your personal hopes for the season?
“My main hope for the team is that we pick up where we left off last season. We played some stunning hockey in the second half of the season, winning our last 9 league games and first 2 playoff games to secure promotion.

If we can play with the same confidence and quality then we will be competitive and could surprise a few people.

I think realistically our primary aim for the season is to avoid relegation; we worked so hard to get here and want to cement ourselves at this level.

We’re under no illusions that it is a big step up and history shows that teams coming up often struggle to stay up but we’ve got a really strong group of guys with fantastic team spirit and I think it is going to be a lot of fun.

On a purely personal level I desperately want to stay injury free and to play a full part in our campaign.

I’ve had a few injury problems in the last three seasons, but I think if I can remain free of injury then I can really help push the team forwards. It would be nice if I can add a few more goals and assists to my game too!”

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