For those of you wondering what its like to go to the England Hockey Awards evening as opposed to having to follow it via Twitter, as her last task in an official capacity before jetting off to Australia, an account of the evening and a summary of the ladies 1s overall season has been written by departing Ladies Club Captain and Midfield Maeastro, Helen Goacher.

The England Hockey Awards evening in Reading had to be the cherry on the top to finish off our very long season. We were able to have some last minute team bonding and preparation in the pool and sauna at the hotel and some pre celebratory drinks courtesy of the Driffield team. With Jac’s rock hard abs on show we walked the short distance to the venue and soon realised we were surrounded by the GB hockey squad, all of us looking a lot different from our usual hockey attire!

We welcomed Emily Maguire, GB defender, to our table who Clare Goacher started the conversation with ‘so what team are you here with?!’ to which she replied ‘we are kind of all dotted around on different tables! The evening got off to a good start with Katy Blyth winning our table two hockey tickets each by playing a game of heads and tails and went on to win a table tennis table and two VIP hockey tickets in the raffle. We knew that winning the main award would now be too good to be true!

What seemed like a lifetime, all the other awards were presented which left ours for after the deserts and free bottles of wine. They explained each of the nominees with us up first, it didn’t even sound like our team, were we really that good this season?! The other teams also sounded amazing and then it was for the results…..

The winner is Leeds Adel!!!!

After a lot of jumping around, hugging and a whole season of tears coming at once down my face we all walked proudly onto the stage to be awarded by Kate Richardson- Walsh and presented with our trophy. We returned to our seats each having our own photos with the trophy and no one really saying anything just looking at each other in complete shock.

By 1am it was starting to sink in, everyone had congratulated us, we were celebrating with some of the GB players and EH Men’s Team of the Year, Tavistock HC and I had just about stopping crying! Now just the long journey home awaited us in the morning!

In our team of amazing players and coaching staff there are two people in particular who I have had the pleasure to work close with as club captain. Sam Ransley for his hard work, encouragement, laughs and commitment without Sam we would not be where we are now as a team and a club as a whole. Finally Anna Blyth, her determination, attitude and strength over the last four seasons has been inspirational. Anna thank you for all your hard work being our captain over the last four seasons and I am glad we could give something back to you for your last year of captaincy.

I am gutted not to be playing and drinking with this team and involved with this friendly, welcoming and amazing club next season. I am sure I will be crying once again at the start of the season on my flight to Aus but I have promised that if you get promoted again I will be on the first flight home!!

By Helen Goacher

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