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Promotion is the target for Newbury

The men's hockey teams get their season underway this weekend

NEWBURY & Thatcham have seven men’s teams preparing to compete in the 2018/19 season, which begins this weekend.

Last season, the first team finished fourth in the Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire (MBBO) Regional 2 League.

They fell just short of promotion as the top three in the final standings were promoted and their defeat against Sonning 4th on the final day of the campaign saw Sonning leapfrog Newbury for that final promotion spot.

This season, the squad will be challenging for a promotion place and will feature a number of junior players who have climbed up the ladder at the club.

The second team also enjoyed a positive season last year as they finished fourth in the MBBO Division 1.

Piers Cunliffe has been appointed third-team captain and will be looking to maintain a strong league position in MBBO Division 3.

The third team were promoted from Division 4 last year. They now enter a more challenging environment and Cunliffe will be aiming for a strong start.

The fourth team have surprised a few people in recent years with back-to-back promotions and James Mitchell will be aiming for number three when they enter Division 6.

They scored more than 120 goals last year and ended up with a goal difference of plus-108, so confidence will be high when they kick off their campaign this weekend.

The men’s fifth team will be aiming for promotion to Division 6 this year as they look to improve on last season’s mid-table finish in Division 7.

Paul Fowler’s side open their league duties with a home clash against Leighton Buzzard this weekend.

Simon Hannam’s youthful men’s side is an amazing starting team for Newbury & Thatcham’s future hockey stars.

The spirt and leadership that Hannam showed as captain last season helped them achieve promotion, and they’ll be aiming for that again.

Meanwhile, new joint veteran team captains Ed Hentridge and Blue Nolan will be aiming to make their team both fun and competitive for their upcoming season in the Wessex Division.

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