Forward thinking field hockey club, Beeston is now one of the largest clubs outside the Netherlands. Based in Nottingham, the ladies and men’s teams won their respective leagues last year, the club had a gin brand named after them and they started their own TV channel,
Like leading clubs in the Netherlands, the clubs finances are largely generated by membership fees which are 150 GBP for men and ladies, while children get large discounts. The recent collaboration with Nottingham High School has boosted their numbers to Dutch team proportions.
On the field Beeston has been attracting international names, more than ever. Players Taking part in the esteemed FIH Pro league include Adam Dixon, Ollie Willars, Mark Gleghorne, and Nicki Cochrane who have been selected to represent Great Britain. Other international representation has included Jack Tranter, Sophie Robinson, Jess Roe and Serena Barr (Ireland) and Caro Hulme (Wales), Jade Lamont, Katie McKee and Matthew Crookshanks (Ireland U21), Carrie Hanks (USA U21), Joe Waterston, Tara Aitchison and Bella Fiskin (Scotland U21), Lottie Hulme (Wales U21).
The club’s first team squads have featured a number of overseas players this season. Serena Barr
and Jade Lamont (Ireland), Carrie Hanks (USA), Matthew Crookshanks (Ireland), Bridget Kiddle (New Zealand) and Quentin Lemaire (Belgium).
The famous black and yellow outfitted, Bees play at Nottingham Hockey Centre which has seen much improvement since the Millennium turning the venue into an international standard base that is one of the best hockey facilities in Great Britain.
Benefits of Membership
The best benefits we noted when joining this ambitious club are: Access to great facilities at their home, Nottingham Hockey Centre, including the Stick & Pitcher Bar with free Wi-Fi indoors and outdoors. The highlight being a meal after all of your home games in the Cafeteria. there are BBQ nights and award ceremonies to also attend while coaching of the Beeston playing style is also available.
The Men’s Team
Head coach Mark Wadsley; first team stalwart Gareth Griffiths, who has grown up at the club and is part of the Great Britain Elite Development Programme (EDP) squad have impressive CV’s to lead the men’s teams.
For Wadsley, the season so far has been positive when it comes to performance. A cup win at the beginning of the season and only one loss in the league is a good return for the squad. However, Wadsley is disappointed that the team has only gained eight points up to now, with two draws revealing that the team has hard work to do when it comes to finishing the game strongly.
“We felt, with the style of hockey we have played, we could potentially have gained a few more points and so are a little disappointed to be on eight points,” says the head coach. ‘However, we need to mature as a team and be more consistent so that we play for 70 mins.”
The style of field hockey he wants and the fans of Beeston want is free-flowing and attacking. It is one that Wadsley and assistant coach, Stephen Wood feels is a good fit for the players who are in the Beeston squad. Those fast attacks should be matched by some solid defensive play.
When Was Beeston Formed?
Founded in 1907, Beeston Hockey Club was formed by a number of Nottingham High School Old Boys
who lived in Beeston, a suburb of Nottingham. By 1913/14 they ran two teams but like many other sports they were suspended for hostilities of the 1st World War, most players having volunteered.
Beeston Ladies Teams
The Veterans (Old Bees) were founded in 1977 by Andrew Clarke and a Sunday side, the Besoms, played from 1958 to 1992. In 2005 Beeston HC formed a Ladies Section, largely from the previously named Charnock Ladies HC and in 2008 Beeston Hockey Club and Nottingham Highfields Ladies HC (formed by a merger between Crimson Ramblers and Sherwood Ladies Hockey Clubs) agreed to merge to form a new Beeston Hockey Club, with 7 Ladies teams and 8 mens teams.
Nowadays, the club is thriving, off the pitch. Bee TV, which airs its men’s and women’s Premier Division home matches. It has even released its own Beeston Gin.
21 year old midfielder and 1st team player, Gareth Griffiths is upbeat about developments at Beeston, saying:
“We’ve got a good group which is pretty resilient and has been together for a few years so we know what to expect from each other,” he says. “Home games are always pretty special because of what goes on behind the scenes at Beeston with the facility and Bee TV. It’s really exciting at Beeston on match days and I hope other clubs can follow suit with the Beeston match day experience.”
Go to the Beeston website here.
You may like our review of the best Adidas hockey sticks here.