North Stafford hockey men’s captain Dave Washington reacts to hockey league cancellation

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North Stafford men’s hockey second team captain Dave Washington admitted it was a sensible decision after the Midlands Men’s Hockey League was cancelled.

The men’s league last week was declared null and void meaning no teams will be promoted or relegated, the league committee felt no competitive hockey would be foreseeable before the end of March.

The North Stafford first team who play in Midlands One had played six fixtures meanwhile the second team were top of the North West Premier Division after four games.

The null and voided outcome affects all North Stafford’s men’s teams with the UK currently enduring a national six-week lockdown. Washington believed the final decision to stop league play was understandable.

He said: “It is a bit up in the air and the men’s league was cancelled last week which is no surprise and I think a sensible decision given the present circumstances.

“From a wanting to play hockey perspective, not a decision we like but in reality, it is a decision we fully support.

“The first week in November or the last week of October, we played one local friendly against Stone before Christmas, in reality we haven’t done anything hockey playing wise since the lockdown came in November.”

As the hockey committee addressed, they did not see it as feasible to play due to not having a “meaningful season” in the current circumstances.

Despite the disappointing news, Washington hopes to return to league action in September alongside a chance of playing summer hockey.

“I think in reality competitive league hockey will be in September and we are hopeful there will be opportunities to play summer league hockey and get players back on the pitch over the summer.” he said

“The detail of that will be defined on how events develop over the next couple of months.

“It is difficult as people are busy as we keep in contact as anything develops and transpires and we are going to start online sessions tomorrow for our junior members.”

He went onto speak of how that league matches were not too badly affected up until the second national UK lockdown that once again halted the fixture programme.

He said: “We weren’t too affected as we did play all our fixtures at that stage because Stoke-On-Trent remained in tier one, at that stage it might have moved into tier two before the end of it.

“We did have some players missing in that they had either tested positive or more regularly were self-isolating.

“We were able to field a full team across the men’s and ladies’ teams and for the first five or six weeks we were able to get fixtures in.”

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