Junior season review

15 April 2024 | Jim Garside
Junior season review

That is pretty much a wrap for the Junior 23/24 Hockey season. I wanted to thank each and everyone of you for your time & commitment across the past 9 months. It is our children that perform through training and weekend fixtures but that doesn’t happen without the parents and guardians who dedicate limited time to provide important taxi duty and bear the brunt of the British weather on the sidelines! 

Below is a summary from each of the age groups together with the overall junior plan at Wilmslow Hockey Club for the 24/25 season. 


The future of the sport! What a wonderfully, enthusiastic bunch of youngsters we are lucky to have. 

This age group swelled to 40 squad members as the season drew to a close and the feedback from the coaches was super positive with the aim of letting them make friends and have fun with hockey! 

We had an aim at pre-season to try and increase exposure to “competitive” hockey at a very young age and thus tossed our U8’s in to a large number of tournaments over the season – 5 in total and they all did us very proud! 


This is where it starts to come together! Another lovely bunch of children who all seem to really enjoy the sport and each other too. We had 27 squad members in this group and the coaching team worked hard on making this season fun and inspiring whilst developing their hockey skills and qualities.

Talent foundation is the key in this age group as many of the children enjoy multiple sports, We tried to provide a positive & fun environment where they can (hopefully) fall in love with hockey.

This squad also had a very busy competitive calendar – Another 5 tournaments where our Lions & Tigers teams performed so heroically. 

Children in Year 6 this season experienced some hockey transition with a view to further stretching their ability and we began to integrate them into 11 a side / full pitch Beavers hockey.  

Full training with the older squad was introduced around mid-Winter and I am pleased to say we had 5 U11 players make their full Beaver debuts this year as they get ready to make the permanent move in 24/25. 

Beavers (U13)

One of the most successful seasons in recent memory for our Beavers age group where they were unbeaten in 70% of all competitive fixtures (winning 9 games) and scoring a whopping 52 goals in the process! 

A relatively new squad they bonded exceptionally quickly and once they found some momentum they had some fantastic results including a 6-1 victory over Deeside and an U12 tournament victory in January at Crewe. 

The focus this season was to challenge this squad with (for many) their first taste of 11 a side / full pitch hockey and allow the players to make their own decisions in competitive play and to encourage learning from their mistakes. 

We further stretched some of the experienced members of the squad (Year 8) by selecting them to play with the older Badgers group from time to time and experience competitive hockey at the highest junior level. 

Badgers (U15)

The goal for our teenagers is to prepare them to take the leap into full senior hockey. We had 33 in our squad and were very proud how the overwhelming majority of the squad either made full debuts for Mens/Women’s teams throughout the season and in some cases fully integrated and transitioned into senior squads ahead of schedule! 

When the Badgers did play, They did with a wonderful positive attitude and a fantastic team spirit which was needed in a league format dominated by boys only teams 

This squad will now move forward with their peers into senior squads and we know they will do the club proud next season. 

24/25 Season

When we begin the new season we will continue to focus on a positive & fun environment for our U11 & U8 sections to allow them to find their passion for the sport. 

The coaching team will continue to identify talent within the groups and seek early opportunities to allow these players to experience hockey at a higher level for example Year 6 children training with the Beavers squad. 

Changes to Beavers & Badgers

The Beavers had a very impressive season! The NW consortium league is informal and different clubs put out different ages/levels subject to their own particular quota that season. 

Next season we will enter the Beavers into the highest available Tier for the league resulting in much more competitive fixtures that will really stretch their abilities against the best in the region. 

The vast majority of the Badgers squad will now naturally progress into their Mens & Ladies squads respectively. 

This leaves behind a huge void and as a result, we have decided that all Year 10 & Year 9 children will also make this transition to senior hockey for next season – Feeling that moving a large group that already play together and have done for many years through the age groups will make the change much easier. 

With the Beavers squad playing at the highest Tier of hockey there is an option for our Year 9 children to “dip in and out” of these fixtures to help their overall journey but we expect them to embrace the new changes as actually most of their new teammates will be their old teammates from last season! 

The majority of clubs in the area already embrace this move as juniors can & do often play senior hockey from the age of 13 and we believe this change provides enough stretch by allowing them to play with and against players that are higher performing than them. 

I am always available for a chat if any parent or junior member would like to discuss this transition. 

Summer Hockey


We have launched a junior hockey camp for the U11 & U8 sections that will further focus on developing foundation skills for this age group. This course will run for 8 weeks from Tuesday 7 th May and is available via Teamo 

Years 8 -11

Summer social hockey returns in June and is aimed at adults and those teenagers who will be transitioning to senior teams next season, This is an inclusive, fun environment to test their abilities and an opportunity to meet new team mates. More details to follow. 

Thank you 

David Byrne 

Junior Captain

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Orbit Developments
Business Support Centre
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