26 March 2020

Junior Hockey players step up as sporting growth continues

With junior Hockey players regularly being selected for the School’s most senior teams, it is clear that John Lyon’s newest Major Sport is continuing to catch pupils’ imaginations. Head of Hockey Mr Adam Ling writes.

Hockey, and especially junior Hockey, is thriving at John Lyon and as another season passes we get closer to our goal of creating a School Sport that rivals Football and Cricket in terms of competition, success and pupil participation.

Although the season was cut slightly short, boys have enjoyed over 70 fixtures, with an increase in numbers now taking part; newly created B teams at U14 and U15 have netted victories in all of their games which is a positive step to creating depth within our squads.

The U14As displayed the most notable success, winning the 2020 Middlesex Cup in February. This is the first time the School has entered the competition and coupled with the U13s, who were runners-up in their competition, it demonstrates just how far we have come in the past four years, since Hockey was first played here.

Statistically, the U15As were the most successful across the course of the season, winning five of their nine games. Notable victories against Berkhamsted, Westminster and Chigwell have made them a real force this season. Three players – Ali Malik, William Mitchell and Taranvir Bansal – have all regularly represented the 1st XI and this bodes well for the future.

Our youngest teams continue to thrive and whilst some still enter Year 7 having played no form of competitive Hockey, results would suggest otherwise. Both the U12A and U13A have won over half their games, as have the B teams. We are gradually increasing the depth of talent within squads, which will assist their development, particularly as the Year 8s move to 11-a-side next season.

Whilst Hockey in some schools is on the decline, it has been refreshing to see the positive attitude of the boys who continue to commit to the development of our programme. I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and commitment to what has been another very successful season.

While scoring lots of goals is a good way to win Hockey matches, not conceding them helps too. That’s why the School looked to get some extra help at the back, in the form of a masterclass by Scotland international goalkeeper, Sam Lloyd. Together with brand new protective goalkeeping equipment kindly provided by a John Lyon parent, our netminders now both play the part and look the part too.