Juniors hope to follow in footsteps of seniors

Leyland and Chorley juniors
Leyland and Chorley juniors
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After the success of the men’s and ladies’ sides at Leyland and Chorley Hockey Club, it now has its sights set on dominating the junior leagues.

The club has enjoyed a season of incredible success with the men’s first team securing back-to-back promotions after being crowned champions of the Barrington Sports North West Division five.

Meanwhile, the ladies went unbeaten through their season in the Lancashire Central Women’s Divison Two and won the title with some ease.

For good measure, the men’s second team has also claimed promotion.

Now the club is focusing on its impressive junior set up which only started in July last year.

The club has now established a number of teams and have 40 junior players on their books.

The juniors train from 11am on Sundays on the Buckshaw Village all-weather pitch and the club’s ethos is for the youngsters to have fun as well as learning to play attractive hockey .

The club aims to instil this firmly in the juniors’ minds.

Many of the youngsters were completely new to hockey just eight months ago, but are now taking part in competitive hockey matches on a regular basis.

The club already has one rising star on its books as Robyn Briggs from the Under-12s has made the Lancashire squad for her age group.

Leyland also hope to send a number of youngsters to the Lancashire Development Programme in the second half of the year.

The ball is also starting to roll for the club’s Under-10s team, who will start to play competitive games for the first time next month.

Players can join from the age of five and beginners are always welcome, with sticks being provided at training sessions.

Neil McManus, junior development officer, said: “I am genuinely delighted with the junior take-up and the positive feedback from both the youngsters and parents.

“We have a fantastic coaching team here who make it fun, but the hockey progression is really visible week to week.

“I intend to keep contacting schools and working with the local authorities to grow the sport.

“We have some real success stories already starting to develop and want more.

“When parents tell you their child is overjoyed as ‘they have never been picked for a team before’, or ‘we never thought they would find a team sport for them’, that is what it is all about for us.”

The club is hosting a primary schools’ tournament this Sunday.

Leyland also receive support from Chorley Building Society, and received half- price equipment from Mercian hockey.

For more information or to find out how to join, contact Neil McManus on juniorhockey@btinternet.com.