West Hampstead voted as hockey team of the year
Brent Cross club scoop top honour at EHB Annual awards
West Hampstead hockey club have won the award for men’s Team of the Season at the EHB Annual Awards 2011, at the University of Westminster Sports Ground in Chiswick.
West Hampstead were recognised for winning the MBBO Regional League and EHB Cup, while scoring 133 goals and finishing the season unbeaten.
The league win also ensured promotion back to Division Two, a remarkable achievement for the Brent Cross outfit, who are skippered by Jamie Dru.
The accolade was also a real feather in the cap for Jack Beard, the prolific goal scorer turned player-coach who was coaching a team for the first time.
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However Beard, who is already looking towards next season, is in no rush to hang up his boots and believes he has plenty more goals in him.
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“We are negotiating a way to get a person to come in, in a managerial role, to enable me to play more,” Beard said.
“I think I will keep on playing for as long as I can. It is quite early to make a decision about how long I will continue playing for, but I am playing to the top of my potential now.
“Ability wise, on paper, we have got players who have got the ability to win the league but there are really good teams out there.
“It [coaching] has showed me that I can do it and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.”
Beard was quick to pay tribute to Dan Fox, the Hampstead and Westminster and England full-back who was regularly on hand at the weekly training sessions.
“It was good to have someone like Dan who was completely impartial and could pull players aside and tell them about styles of play,” Beard continued.
“To say that ‘this is happening at the top level and to try to replicate it’.
“The Team of the Season was a good accolade to get.
“It did make me pretty happy. I set some pretty high aims and for the team at the start of the season.
“We had to turn up every game and put in a performance in every instance.
“It was a tribute to them.”