Ruth Dacey’s hockey round-up: Split loyalties for Will Hearne at Hallam and Sheffield Bankers

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A few years ago,Sheffield University Bankers hockey club could only field one ladies side, struggled to get players on a weekly basis and were floundering in the lowest league.

But Bankers now caters for three women sides - with the first team top of the Yorkshire Premier Division, with ten wins under their belts, an 11 point lead and aiming to go unbeaten for the rest of the season.

The success of the side has largely been attributed to the full time coaching appointment this season of current Sheffield Hallam first team player Will Hearne, who has managed to put the rivalry of the two clubs aside in the role.

“I am definitely not a traitor to Hallam because I am proud to pull that shirt on every week and play my heart out,” he said.

“But at the same time I am here at Bankers to do a good coaching job for the ladies.

“We are very much building something very special with the ladies at the moment and I definitely want us to go unbeaten this season. We are more than capable of doing it.

“The success of the side is down to the hard work of the girls. Week on week they get better and everybody makes sure they are fully focused at training and puts in the hard work needed.

“The club want the women to eventually be up there in the best leagues like the men’s sides, and we are aiming for successive promotions over the next few years.”

Last Saturday the team made it a perfect ten wins on the bounce after beating City of York seconds 4-2 at Goodwin Sports Centre.

And although pleased with the result, Will was disappointed with “easy goals,” conceded against them.

“I was really pleased with our performance in the final third of the pitch - we had excellent build up play and created a lot of chances,” said the 24-year-old.

“However we can always improve and I don’t want to see sloppy goals conceded against us again. Other teams may make us pay if we have those sort of lapses at the back.”

This weekend the side face a testing challenge as they must play two away games in consecutive days - at Dewsbury on Saturday and Bingley Bees on Sunday.

“Both sides are the lower end of the table but we must not be complacent,” Will, from Eccelsall, said.

“It will be tiring for the players but I expect big performances from everyone. Against both sides we have to be more clinical in front of goal - that is what we will be working on because I want us to convert more chances and develop a killer instinct.”