Wimbledon Hockey Club confident of top four finish despite disappointing defeat last weekend


The side sit fifth in the national league, despite being promoted only last year.

By Jack Miller

The future looks incredibly bright for Wimbledon Hockey Club according to their coach, former Olympian Ben Marsden.

The side sits fifth in the NOW:Pensions National Hockey League, having only been promoted last year.

“We’re delighted with where we are, and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t looking up at the teams ahead of us,” said Marsden, 34. “To finish fifth would’ve been a dream result at the start of the season; we were just targeting staying up to be honest.”

The side boasts three former Olympians, as well as a phenomenal pool of young talent, with Alastair Brogdon, Michael Hoare, Henry Weir, and Phil Roper all called up for full international debuts with Team GB this week.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Waller, of Whitgift School, is delighted to be playing in the National League despite his age.

“I’m really enjoying the challenge at this level,” he said. “It took me a while to get used to as it is much quicker and more physical, but the best way to improve is to play with bigger and better players.”

Waller has also represented England U16s, and believes the calibre of youth at Wimbledon will stand them in good stead in coming seasons.

An injury-stricken side suffered a disappointing 7-0 defeat to league-leaders East Grinstead last weekend, leaving the Dons five points off the play-off places with just three games left this season.

Despite the setback, Marsden remains optimistic of a top-four place and the shot at European Hockey that goes with it.

“It will still be an interesting finish if we win our last three games,” he said. “If we get the nine points we want then we’ll be in with a shout so you never know.”

Even if they do miss out on the top-four, this has been an undeniably impressive debut Premier League campaign from Wimbledon.

A mid-season run of seven games unbeaten, including wins against rivals Surbiton and reigning champions Beeston, catapulted them up the table.

Marsden would not be drawn into any speculation regarding their aspirations for next year, saying:

“We are taking it one game at a time. We need to stay focused on the next three weeks and can worry about next year after that.”

Wimbledon host Loughborough Students this weekend, and Marsden insisted the drubbing at East Grinstead would not put them off.

“We have reacted positively in training this week, and if we perform well we can come away with all three points.”

Follow us @SW_Londoner

Related Articles