Successful start to season for Belper Hockey Club

The 2012/13 England Hockey National Conference North got under way on Saturday with Belper taking on Leek at the Meadows sports ground in glorious weather and winning 1-0.

An earlier start to the campaign was something the Nailers could have done without as they underwent a number of changes on and off the pitch.

The season saw the arrival of new coach Duncan Woods, allowing last year’s coach Mark Lamb to return to playing duties. Duncan has brought with him considerable experience of National League coaching and also experience as a former England international.

The squad has remained much the same but with a couple of notable exceptions.

Mark Lamb has returned to playing duties while Chris Hall has temporarily stepped back from the 1st XI due to work commitments. England under 18 international Joe Sharpe has left to go to the University of Nottingham and will play for Beeston. Coming in the opposite direction is Steve Batten, This game was the first for Sam Hawkes as captain. For a report, see