Sheffield Hallam hockey club have their eyes set on multiple success this season as they look to finish strongly in the indoor season, whilst on the hunt for cup and league titles.
Currently the men’s first team are in the running to win the overall Division Two indoor England Hockey 5s Championships title, which started in December, after finishing second in Division Two North.
The Sheffield side, who will play for the title on January 31 and February 1, secured their place with 10 points after five games, three behind group winners Barford Tigers with the final spot taken by Cheltenham.
Vicky Joel, the head coach, has been delighted with their indoor season and believes they can take their good run of form into the quarter-finals of the England Hockey Cup and their league title challenge.
“We’ve only been fielding a strong indoor team for a few years so it’s a real achievement to have performed so well this year and I hope success in the 5s will translate outdoors,” explained the Wales women senior assistant coach.
“Playing in a tighter, more restricted area will help with technical play when we return to the league and cup and it will make players much sharper and help with retaining possession on the ball.
“We entered all competitions this season and we are still in with a chance in all of them, so we just need to focus and take each game at a time.
“I’m not prioritising any fixture or competition over the other because I and the players want to do well in all of them. We are focused for the end of this indoor tournament but then attention will be on the crucial league and cup double header.”
Sheffield are currently second, behind Bowdon, in the Men’s Conference North on 22 points after 11 games and face third-placed Doncaster on February 7 followed by the crucial Now: Pensions England Hockey cup quarter final against Premier Division and reigning champions – Cannock the next day.
“It’s going to be a very hard weekend with the two crucial fixtures but we have enough depth and strength within the squad to get two good results,” said Vicky.
“On paper Connock is the more difficult game because they are a Premier Division club and they won’t want to be giving up their title easily.
“But also the Doncaster clash because it always has the feel of a real derby and the last few times have been very fiery encounters so I expect nothing less.”
Hallam will be hoping to emulate their North Conference winnin season in 2012/13 which would see them make a return to the NOW: Pension’s Premier Division - however only one team can gain promotion and title rivals Bowden are currently seven points ahead.
“It’s a tough ask, but our aim is to remain unbeaten for the rest of the season when we get back to playing in the league,” said Vicky, a former England Universities goal keeper.
“All we can do is play our best and unfortunately the rest is out of our hands. Hopefully other results will go our way but the main job is to finish the season on the high with no defeats.”