Friday 21 August 2020

Peelers IHC First Training Session At Widnes

Neil Herring puts the Peelers players through their paces.  (Photo by Robert Martin). 

A brand new ice hockey team took to the ice for the first time at the Planet Ice rink in Widnes last week with the debut training session of the Peelers IHC Northern Police club.

The Peelers are named after the founder of the UK police service Sir Robert Peel and the club is aimed at people who have an association with the police including Police Officers, PCSOs, Special Constables, civilian staff and ex-members or employees. It has players with a wide range of experience and ability from former GB internationals down to complete beginners.

Despite only having been in existence for a few months, the fledgling club actually has some 60 team members in total from 12 different police forces and constabularies across the north of England. However, due to shift pattern working and travelling distances, the plan is to rotate training sessions around other rinks across the country so that everybody gets an equal chance to be involved.

The training session was run by Peelers club coach Neil Herring, who has a vast experience in the game having previously been involved with the Manchester Storm and Hull Pirates teams and is also a team sponsor via his company Kip's Skate Workshop (click here for details ). Belfast Giants GB international gold medal winning player  Paul Swindlehurst was a guest coach for the session at Widnes on Thursday and they put the Peelers players through their paces, starting off with a brief introduction to the rules and a run through of the upcoming drills.

The group of players in attendance - some of whom were playing for the first time - were then split into 6 groups, with each group practising different manoeuvres on the ice at intervals. The coaches, who supervised the session on the ice, put the players through various skating and passing drills, with an emphasis on speed of movement and puck control.

The two goalies on the team were also put through their paces, with a number of shooting drills and scrimmages taking place towards the end of the session.

A great time was had by all and it will be exciting to see going forward how this new team gets on.

Sergeant Andy Cooper of Cheshire Police, one of the organisers behind the new team, said:

I’m a complete novice and, up until March, I had never picked a hockey stick up. It’s always been a goal to play and an opportunity to learn came along with this new team. It’s great to have the Elite League coaches supporting the session - it also buys interest for the more advanced players going forward to be coached by pros.”

Vanessa Crickmore-Clarke - who also plays for the Widnes Wild womens team and won the women’s league title last season - is one of the more experienced players on the Peelers team. She said:

“I had a really excellent time - it was a positive event after the impact of the virus. It’s really good that the development of the team was able to happen despite the pandemic. Any coaching will help; you can always learn something new. It’s good to be able to sharpen up your abilities and be able to brush your skills up.”

The team intends to meet once a month at different rinks throughout the north of England, with training sessions lasting a few hours to make the most of the time. The plan for fixtures looking ahead is to play charity games, with the hope of creating a league in the near future with other emergency teams.

Report by Robert Martin 

You can hear Robert's interview with organiser Scott here:

Friday 14 August 2020

New Book: 60 Years Of The Altrincham Aces by Stuart Latham

For anybody interested in British ice hockey, Stuart Latham has put together a great new book about the history of the Altrincham Aces. For orders placed via Stuart direct or through the Altrincham club - once they can start having games again, at least - 40% of the proceeds will go to the Aces team – which is great news.

Contents include:
The original Altrincham Aces (1961-1987)
Trafford Metros (1987-1995)
Altrincham Aces – Reborn (1995-2002)
Altrincham Aces – Modern Era (since 2015)

The book is packed with league tables, player statistics and lots of great photos courtesy of Walter Bayliss, Rob Hutchinson & Mark Ferriss.

Early club information courtesy of Richard Jones

Guest articles from Lol Paul, Simon Mills, Sarah Hutchinson, Thomas Revesz, Aran Fox, Paule Mayoh, Sam Dunford, Sean Jones, and Paul Breeze

176 pages B5 format.
Price 15.99 plus £4.50 p&p
ISBN: 978-1-8381165-0-7

For order details and information about other great books, check out Stuart's sales website HERE