Reading Hockey Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Merijn van Willigen as the Ladies 1s Head Coach.
Merijn joins us following five successful years as Director of Coaching at Havant Hockey Club.
He is an England Hockey centrally contracted coach, and he has also coached Welsh national teams (U18 Boys and U21 Women) as well as a number of regional teams.
Merijn says “I am incredibly excited at the opportunity to work with you all. It will be nice to see some familiar faces from Clifton and Trojans, but mostly I think there is a fantastic opportunity here to work on another very successful period for Reading HC”
We welcome Merijn to the club and look forward to working with him and wish him every success in his role.
Shane Ryan went to visit a host of clubs, including Reading across the UK to investigate the issues checking on the current health of hockey, to find out how it compares in other countries and where its future lies, both at the top and bottom of the game.
Published on 29 May 2014, this is a documentary about the current state of field hockey within the UK (2013/2014)- a sport where participation rates remain fairly high, men and women compete equally and, collectively, both senior teams are relatively high-achievers at elite level nationally in comparison to most other sports.
However, hockey still lags behind with little investment, lack of media coverage and less hockey being played at school level, with participation rates, despite a post-Olympic boom, falling.
8th March 2014
This weekend saw the top four teams in action against each other, Reading were taking on Clifton who had been dubbed the ‘Silent Assassins’ after their recent good form. The spoils had been shared during the previous encounter between the two sides, but this time the Ding were on home soil and were looking to take away all three points.
In the early stages of the half both Danson and Chamberlain went close but their shots narrowly missed the goal and went fizzing past the far post. Despite Reading’s early dominance and pressure they found themselves behind after an attacking corner broke down. The visitors capitalised on this opportunity and were quickly down in Reading’s circle, were Addison was on hand to slot home the bouncing cross. The home side were awarded a barrage of penalty corners and the Ding finally converted a routine in the last few minutes of the half through Gilbert who tapped in the rebound, after a powerful strike from Wilkinson. At half time the teams went in level, and Reading knew they needed to start converting their opportunities to ensure victory.
In the second half Reading found their stride and were extremely slick in possession and looking potent in attack. Reading’s defence was solid and the team were nullifying Clifton’s counter attack, which had posed some problems in the first half.
After a good passage of composed play, Danson was found by a pin-point accurate pass from Kate Richardson-Walsh. Danson attacked the head of the circle and found the goal with her trademark reverse stick, and gave the home side a 2-1 lead. Clifton came close shortly after when a ball went flying across the front of Ellis’s goal and a few inches in front of the stick of the oppositions diving attacker.
Reading went on to secure the win after Thomas coolly converted from the penalty spot, which was awarded when Danson was fouled and deemed to have been prevented a goal scoring opportunity. Reading controlled the final stage of the game and went home victorious. The win meant that the Ding were one point adrift from league leaders Canterbury and keeping the pressure on for the final few games.