After claiming the England Hockey title last season, the Men's 1st XI qualify for Europe, with KO16/KO8 taking place in Barcelona 4-6 October. We've drawn HGC from Holland (EHL champions in 2011) and face them at 13:30 at the Pau Negre Stadium.
Win that game and we will face the winner of Mannheimer v CA Montrouge at 9:45 on Sunday morning in KO8. A loss to HGC on Friday, and we'll face the loser of Mannheimer v CA Montrouge in a ranking match on Saturday at 11:45. Full schedule below and tickets available here.
Barcelona is a great city with cracking nightlife, and the pitch is close to the centre, so grab your team mates, put on your blue and white, and plan the long weekend in Europe!
The squad are flying out on Thursday morning, and back on Sunday evening. Staying in one of the tournament hotels just out of the city, Hotel Best Western Mediterraneo.
After a dramatic last few weeks of the season, the Men's 1st XI are in the League Finals again, at Lee Valley April 28/29, for a shot at becoming Champions of England, and qualifying for Europe next season.
We play Wimbledon at 10:30am on Saturday, April 28 for a place in the Sunday final against Beeston or Surbiton.
We are delighted to announce Great Britain international Harry Martin as our first signing of the summer for the Men's 1s as we look to better our top 4 finish last season.
Midfielder Harry made his full international debut for GB when he was just 17 years old and at still only 24 has already represented GB in two Olympics, won Commonwealth Games and Hockey World League Bronze medals in 2014, racking up a remarkable 151 caps and 13 goals for England and GB to date. In 2012, Harry was shortlisted for the FIH World Young Player of the Year Award. Harry is currently with England at Lee Valley for the Hockey World League Semi-Finals taking place in London for the next two weeks - tickets still available if you want to cheer the boys on!
Harry joins us after a successful season playing for Rotterdam in the Netherlands, helping them to second place in the league and having previously helped Beeston to two Premier League titles. He's also not just good with a stick and ball, he has a first class economics degree from the University of Nottingham.
On joining Hampstead and Westminster Harry said "After a fantastic year in Rotterdam, I'm delighted to be joining Hampstead & Westminster. The club is in an exciting place following last season and shares my ambitions of domestic and European success. Being coached by Kwan is a great opportunity to develop my game and I want to pick up as much as I can from him. There is also a strong emphasis on having fun both on and off the pitch, which is important to me and there seems to be a really social environment around the club as whole."
After a successful season last year for our Men's 1s which culminated in the League Finals weekend for the first time in our history, the squad is relatively unchanged. Harry’s addition to the club not only brings his exceptional talent, but also his invaluable experience of big game situations. The team is already looking forward to the new season and the addition of a few more new faces will help us to push for the National Premier League title.
We are real excited to see Harry pull on the blue and white stripes and look forward to working with him in his continued development through to the next Olympics and beyond.
Check out this little beauty Harry stuck in for Rotterdam last year.
You may have heard... the Men's 1st XI are in the National League Final Play Offs for the first time, at Lee Valley April 22/23, for a shot at becoming Champions of England, and qualifying for Europe next season.
Get your tickets NOW (before March 31!) for a discounted rate, and to sit with the rest of the club, to cheer the boys on. Enter code HAMPSTEAD17 when purchasing tickets - links below.
Get your team together and have a great weekend with the rest of the club at the home of hockey.
We play Wimbledon at 1100 on Saturday, April 22, with Holcombe and Surbiton doing battle at 1315
And after those games are the two semi finals for the Investec Women's League.
Win the semi final and we're then back on the Sunday for the final at 1345.
Our Director of Hockey, Richard Smith aka "Smudge" is back on the pitch this season, making his competitive debut for the M1s, three years after joining the club. He suffered a career threatening knee injury playing for GB during the 2012 London Olympics, which has prevented him from playing hockey at the highest level ever since.
Most people would have given up trying to get back to top-level hockey after such a serious injury and with a long time of the pitch; but it is indicative of his winning mentality that he has tirelessly worked towards this return. HWHC is ever grateful for all the hard work Smudge has put in to the club and wish him a fantastic first game today against Canterbury. Good luck Smudge!
Ireland's Geoff McCabe and Wales' Rupert Shipperley join from Surbiton.
Geoff's career highlights include his first cap for Ireland, and going on to captain the senior side. Plus playing in the Euro Hockey League with Surbiton.
Rupert made his debut for Wales against Spain in 2014 and career highlights include his first goal for Wales & winning a silver medal with GB U21's at the Youth Olympics in 2012. Plus playing for Cardiff & Met in the Euro Hockey League as the first Welsh club in the competition.
On making the move to Maida Vale Rupert said,
Exciting times for HWHC with new players coming in, the introduction of Kwan Browne as Head Coach was a key aspect for me joining, but I also believe the club will help me develop into a more complete player. There is a great atmosphere around the place and I am looking forward to contributing positively on and off the pitch.
And Geoff added,
Very excited by the appointment of Kwan Browne as head coach, plus joining a squad full of experience and top quality international players. I want to win the league and qualify for EHL . I'd also like to thank Surbiton for 3 good years and look forward to competing against them this season.
We are also delighted to be welcoming back Daniel Walsh to the club, he returns from his home side Bromley & Beckenham who unfortunately dropped out of the national league last season. Dan was a great club member for three years and has been a huge force for Bromley & Beckenham so we look forward to integrating him back into the side.
And last but not least, we are pleased to welcome Joe Crame to the club, joining from Cambridge City in the National league East Conference
All the best to all the new joiners as they pull on the Hampstead shirt, and see you all at Club Day!
We're really happy to announce these two lads joining us for the 2016/17 season.
South African international Matthew Guise-Brown brings his deadly drag flick to Maida Vale after a couple of seasons with our North London rivals Southgate, and 7 seasons at TUKS (University of Pretoria) in SA.
Matt made his debut for South Africa in 2012 with a career highlight winning the Africa Cup of Nations last year in Johannesburg where he finished top goal scorer. Winning the tournament meant the team qualified for Rio 2016, but shockingly, the SASCOC (Olympic committee) decided that they would not send them to Brazil, believing they had no realistic chance of winning a medal it being a waste of money.
Matt said, "I am looking forward to joining up with Hampstead and Westminster in the next few weeks. It will no doubt be a huge challenge, but one I am excited for. The recruitment of new players and a great new coach means that the club will hopefully be moving in the right direction. What better time to jump on board than now?"
Also pulling on the best looking playing shirt in the Premier League is Wales' Steve Kelly. Steve's hockey career has kicked off since graduating from university two years ago. His international career progressed from age group level into the full senior national team, as well as playing two years in the top flight for Surbiton, which included going to the play offs twice as well as gaining promotion with Wales in the European Championships.
Steve said "I am really excited to progress my career at Hampstead under the guidance of Kwan Browne and finally cross the line and win the playoffs with a great new team."
Mikie is joining us from Lisnagarvey HC in Ireland, he first represented his country in July 2006 and is approaching his 200th cap. Mikie lists his career highlight as winning Bronze at the European Championships in London last summer (although we don't remember who the opposition were?), and being selected for the Olympics.
Best of luck in Rio, we'll be cheering on the Irish from NW London.
We are delighted to announce that Sam French is joining Hampstead and Westminster Hockey Club this season, moving down the M40 from the University of Birmingham with his economics degree.
Sam has represented England and GB at all age groups and was part of the Under 21 side won gold at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia, that also included HWHC player James Simpson. Sam will bring an immediate impact to the squad posing a real goal threat, but he is also one for the future and we hope we are able to support and help him achieve his first senior cap in the not too distant future. We look forward to seeing him wearing the famous Hampstead stripes.
‘I’m really excited to be joining HWHC and playing within a really strong group of players. I think playing under Kwan and alongside such a talented squad will help me develop my game to the next level. It would be great to push to play in europe and I think with the way the squad is shaping up we will have a great chance to challenge at the top of the premier league.’