And finally…. after announcing the ladies and mens section award winners for on field activity, we conclude the “on-line” awards recognising those who have made a wider contribution to the success of the club, gone the extra mile and whose actions have allowed others to benefit and enjoy their games.  Some of these trophies are named in memory of former past Adel greats (even before Dave Margerison and David Hall’s times in some cases….) and we acknowledge their names accordingly.

Whilst the awards recognise those who contributed up to the end of last season in March 2020, in some cases those people have continued to commit time, effort and knowledge to allow the club to play again in the current season pre-lockdown but effort in the current season will largely be recognised at the end of season dinner in May 2021 (ever the optimist!), irrespective of how the league games play out.


Older members may recall both Mike and his brother Geoff Potts as stalwarts of the club in the 60s and 70s and I am sure they will have played with another Adel legend, Basil Grange, who played in goal right through to the early 1990s.  It is perhaps fitting that this years good service award for the mens section goes to Basil’s grandson, Luke Taylor.  Luke is one of those guys who will help out in many ways, new padlocks for the astro, sorting out teas for match days, willingly playing for any of the lower teams when they are short, including being prepared to play in goal to ensure everyone else can have a game.  An all round top bloke who can be relied on to help out wherever needed.


Its not unusual for this award to be shared, and a few years ago a whole family (the Blyths) were the worthy winners.  This year, it wouldn’t be fair to recognise one half of this double act without recognising the other.  Jane and Alice have helped out coaching the lower ladies sides this season, but last season they also coached and managed one of the junior girls age groups attending both training sessions and those cold Sunday morning YYHL matches around the county.  During Lockdown 1, Jane and Alice kept themselves occupied setting weekly skills challenges on Facebook, for club members to try and were even recognised in the England Hockey team of the week as a result!

Jane can often be seen umpiring a game after she has played, and this season has assumed TD responsibilities when injury has limited her mobility.  Alice stepped up at short notice to support Gaby with the membership subscription role when Hannah assumed the role of Covid officer alongside her club Secretary duties.  Jane and Alice have become the Ant and Dec of Adel hockey, and if this wasn’t enough to justify the award, they don’t half bake a mean cake as I can testify most Saturday’s after umpiring their games!


Hedgy joined Adel in the mid 1980s after graduating from Leeds Uni.  Apparently he had less hair then than he does now and was a speedy left winger but more importantly a great bloke to know on a Saturday night as a teetotaller with a car.  I should dispel the rumour that he was once selected for a 1st team away game as he could drive the mini-bus for my stag night as in his younger days he was a first team regular player who could always be relied on to score goals.  its also quite apt that this trophy is in respect of Morris Crossfield whose later Adel years were spent umpiring as Hedgy has always liked to engage in conversation with the officials!  He also spent several years as our club Secretary

After a few years away from hockey to bring up his young family, it was great to see him return to playing again when his 2 boys started to show an interest and I am sure he takes great pride in seeing them settle into senior teams and hopefully progress through the teams.  Hopefully when we are back on the astro again, we will continue to see the famous Hedgy somersault rolled out to celebrate another goal.


Yes you read that correctly!  Having checked back through the Adel history records, there is a bit of a gap between the time Pam and Bridget joined Adel and our next longest serving member.  Hannah started out in the Girls under 10s in the last millennium, playing alongside future GB star, Suzy Petty, before progressing into the senior teams aged 13.  It is always great to see our junior players return to the club after their time away at University (Durham in Hannah’s case) and since then Hannah has led the ladies 2s to promotion a few years ago, before stepping up to be one of the rock’s in the 1s defence for the last few seasons.  This award shouldn’t be seen as a retirement gong as I am sure Hannah still has many more years in the tank to play high level hockey for Adel!


At Adel we are fortunate to have so many “full time” umpires but also many more people keen to blow the whistle having played their own game for the day.  If you speak to Jim, he will tell you his biggest challenge in finding umpires is for that long away game where the home team won’t provide 2 umpires and those Sunday games when most people don’t want to get out of bed on a cold morning and travel to some even colder outpost in the county.  Last season, Sholto played senior hockey for the club but was a year too old to continue with the under 16 boys team he has grown up with at Adel.  It was therefore a real bonus for everyone when Sholto volunteered to go along on Sunday’s and umpire at junior tournaments, getting great feedback from players and coaches and adding another string to his bow.  I am sure this asset will stand him in good stead for when he goes away to University too as an ability with the whistle should guarantee you a game in return!


I introduced this award to recognise those people whose involvement and approach helps improve the Adel image and reputation around the county with committees, officials and opposition teams.  Earlier this year, the impact of Covid on our ability to play hockey came like a bolt out of nowhere and several people had to adapt their roles, get up to speed with new regulations and guidance and ensure Adel could at least return to playing once lockdown conditions were eased.  At Adel we are fortunate in that we have a number of medical professionals on our committee, and their first hand knowledge and experience (and interpretation!) has been vital in our successful return to hockey.  Hannah was already Club Secretary and when England Hockey stipulated clubs needed to have an appointed Covid Officer before being allowed to play again, Hannah stepped up to the plate, got to grips with all that was needed (QR codes, registers, signs, conference calls, swift decision making and communication to members).  Ably supported by Ellie as her deputy, it is thanks to Hannah’s efforts and leadership on these issues that have enabled us all to get back out on the pitch.  I did tell Hannah that the role was like being an umpire, in that sometimes you have to make unpopular decisions that cannot please everybody, but you give what you believe is the right decision and as a result you earn the respect of fellow members, committees and visitors to Adel.


This season it has been fantastic to see several of our talented juniors win awards across the mens and ladies sections.  A long time ago, when I joined Adel a 15 year old right winger was making a promising start in his hockey career, displaying fantastic stick skills, mesmerising an array of left backs around the county.  35 years later, he can still turn a defender inside out, although the blistering turn of pace may have deserted him as his knees start to let him down.  Keen to give something back to the junior section that helped him start out on a hockey career, Giles has been a regular at boys training and match days for the last few seasons, passing on his knowledge and skills to junior boys including his own offspring keen to follow in Dad’s footsteps.  Interestingly, family is something that I associate with Giles more than any other club member as his parents were often regular supporters on the sidelines as he weaved his magic on the wing.  Even now (when Giles is fit…) his Dad will be there with the junior Primmers supporting the Adel team fortunate enough to benefit from Giles presence.

Our junior section relies on volunteers to keep it going and its even more satisfying when its one of former junior players who is taking on the coaching duties.  Well done G-man!


With our first teams winning the mens and ladies section teams of the year respectively, picking an overall club team of the year is always a tough challenge.  This isn’t an award to recognise that high league finish, or a deserved promotion, its more about a team that plays in the right spirit, overcomes challenges thrust upon them through no fault of their own and generally plays with a smile on their faces.

Being the 5th team often means you get to Friday night with a shortage of players as the higher sides steal from your squad, getting up early for that 10.30 slot at home, (or even worse away!) and having to bribe someone to put on the goalkeeping kit.  With the team being the entry level for juniors starting out in senior adult hockey, team stability is rare as once a junior settles in they are soon whisked away to the 3s or 4s and you have to go looking for another player to fill the gap.  Zoe and her squad have rolled up their sleeves, taken all of this on the chin and just gone out and enjoyed themselves.  Some of their match reports will tell you how some opposition at that level take themselves too seriously whilst the Adel ladies continue to play for enjoyment, development and team spirit.  Watching them on a couple of occasions last season, the thing that struck me was their enthusiasm, both on and off the pitch where injured squad members were happy to turn up and help run the bench and cheer the team on.  Keep going ladies and playing the game the right way.

That concludes the 2019-20 awards ceremony – congratulations to all our winners and I hope the way you have been advised of your success doesn’t detract from your recognition.  Once lockdown 2 is over tomorrow, we will work hard to collect the trophies, get them engraved and presented to you at an appropriate opportunity so you get some time to give them pride of place on your mantlepiece!


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