England call up for Hart

1 month ago By Stuart Burnside

Remains to represent Realm as veteran midfielder gets nod for first Masters cap

Manager Jo Ward writes:
Over the last few years Wapping’s most sophisticated and classy team, the ‘Remains’, have gone from strength to strength. They encompass a diverse pool of talented female hockey players, all aged over 35; and take part in the annual National Knock-out competition in their ‘Masters’ age group.

From their inception 3 years ago their key lynchpin has been their centre midfield, Becky Hart. Becky has been giving superb performances for the Remains on a Sunday, while still maintaining a regular place at a high level on a Saturday for the newly promoted Wapping Ladies 1s, who are currently sitting in 3rd place in the East Premier League, just below National League.

Having previously played National League when based in the South-West, when Becky first moved to London and joined Wapping several years ago she was initially adamant about wanting to play in a lower division, and that it was ‘her time to retire gracefully’. On a personal level, I am delighted that successive coaches have enticed her out of semi-retirement, as she has been a joy to play with, and both myself and the entire Remains team have learnt so much from her. Her work rate and endurance is phenomenal, specifically her distribution and calmness under pressure; and her hockey brain has proven essential both on and off pitch, particularly her willingness to share her knowledge and experience with all.

As such, it came as no surprise that Becky has been selected for the England Masters Over 40s squad, and will be proudly representing England this year. Firstly at the Home Nations competition in Dublin in July, and then at the Euros in the Netherlands in August. We all wish her every success this summer, and look forward to Becky bringing back medals so we can share in the glory. Congratulations Becky ‘Wolf’ Hart – very well deserved!

Chairman Stuart Burnside adds:
We’re tremendously proud of Becky. There are a few members who, when pressed, usually by a match report scribe, will own up to some sort of international representation...before they joined Wapping. There are also one or two who learned their hockey with us and went on to represent their country...after they left Wapping. And at the more experienced end of the club, we were delighted for Mooch Perkins making it to England Masters trials last year.

However, I believe this represents the first actual call up for a current member. As such, Becky Hart is the first Wapping International. I'd doff my cap, but she's the one with the cap. I might have known it’d be someone from the Remains…

And Becky herself writes:
I attended three lots of trials in Bristol and Warwick. One of the selectors also watched me in our L1 game against St Albans. The process is based around ability and fitness as players must be able to demonstrate high hockey ability and stamina as masters is tournament based. Therefore trials were very challenging! They all took place on Sundays, with four hours of hockey trials followed by a hockey match. The opposition were national league side Firebrands and England lions (previous England players).

We also had to do a fitness test - ten lengths of the pitch, and we had to get under 4 mins! I was 3:42 came third out of 34.

So following trials and observation the first selection into masters squad took place this was end of November. And I made the cut for the first squad of 27. Then after more fitness and a training match in January in Warwick, the selectors decided the 18 that will go to the Home Nations tournament and the Euros. I found out on Monday 6 Feb that I was in the final 18.

Here's the matches we have, maybe some Wappers want to come watch?

  • Warmup tournament against services on 10 and 11 June in Aldershot.
  • Home nations 23 to 25 June in Dublin.
  • Euros 11 to 19 August in Netherlands.

And as you insist, here's my hockey story:

Position midfield / defence.

Starting playing at 11. Joined Plymouth hockey club 13 and played for this club for 23 seasons, mainly in the National Premier League and for a few years was player coach as well as captain. Which included captaining current GB Gold medallist Gisele Ansley!

I joined mighty Wapping five years ago having retired and decided to play more socially so joined three threes within two games I was in 2s as they were short and then ones were short so my retirement didn't really happen lol.

During my time at Wapping have had fabulous success in ladies one which has kept me driven to keep fit which has really been beneficial for the trials.

Also more importantly during my time the lovely Jo Ward put together the Wapping Remains masters side which has been the making of me. I have been able to play in the middle and benefitted from all the great skills and experience of fellow team mates. This inspired me to go to trials when we got the invite through England Hockey.

Obviously I'm thrilled to have been selected and cannot wait to represent my country at the Home Nations and Euros and hopefully come back with a medal!

Updated 11:12 - 10 Feb 2017 by Stuart Burnside

Where next?

Hockey in Tower Hamlets has never been healthier! ‘tis the season of goodwill, so this Christmas, let’s look a bit wider and celebrate the fantastic performance of all the clubs in our borough.

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