Exciting times at Ipswich Hockey Club as the women top the table and men welcome new coach

Kate Wingar, chair of Ipswich Hockey Club, is excited by what the future holds. Picture: STEVE WALLE

Kate Wingar, chair of Ipswich Hockey Club, is excited by what the future holds. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

There is a definite buzz surrounding Ipswich Hockey Club right now, with the women’s first team flying high at the top of the table and the men set to welcome a former Olympian as their new coach.

There is a definite buzz surrounding Ipswich Hockey Club right now, with the women’s first team flying high at the top of the table and the men set to welcome a former Olympian as their new coach.

The women top the East Premier League table with a game in hand following a double success of Wapping and Cambridge University at the weekend which, along with a thriving junior section and plans to launch the county’s first disability hockey section, means there is plenty to be positive about.

The men may be struggling at the wrong end of the Prem A table, but with the imminent arrival of former South Africa Olympic player Ian Haley as coach, things are certainly looking up.

“It’s a very exciting time for the club at the moment with Ian on his way and everything he brings with him,” chair Kate Wingar said.


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“He has so much experience, not just from the Olympics but also from some good coaching jobs, and he’s going to bring us some freshness. He will be playing, too, so the team can benefit from all those skills and experiences.

“He’s big on video analysis and that’s going to be a big plus for the men, who have been doing so well in some tough circumstances.

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“We lost our old coach before the season started but the team of Josh Cutting, James Southgate and Mark Wheelhouse have done a tremendous job of keeping things going.

“They are just outside the relegation zone at the moment but have three big games coming up against teams around them, before Ian then arrives.

“It’s certainly exciting times for us.”

Wingar plays for the women’s team and scored one of the goals in Saturday’s victory over Wapping, and believes her team find themselves in a much stronger position, having dropped down from the national leagues two years ago.

“I think dropping down has been good for us because we needed to refresh and rebuild, but we are definitely in a much better place now if we were able to get back up again,” she said.

“Having come down we were always going to be one of the stronger sides and we of course are targeting the title, but we’re also in a really good place because we have added some fantastic players with some coming up through our youth system.

“There’s a great feeling in the team and a lot of that is down to Rixie (coach Mariette Rix) who is just the most fantastic coach.

“She is the kind of lady who reminds you just how much you love hockey, even in the tough times when you’re doing fitness or have had a tough day at work. She’s brilliant and brings you so much with her Olympic experience.”

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