Trojans Hockey


Richard Markham named as 2020/21 Men's 1s squad Coach

The club is pleased to announce that Rich Markham, who was a regular 1st team player last season, will take on the Men's 1st team coach role for the up-coming 2020/21 season.

Rich has a long career in hockey, with a wealth of experience both playing and coaching. Rich learnt to play hockey at Trojans and King Edwards and returned to the club last season after nearly 30 years away.

He has played National League hockey for Oxford University and Guildford and whilst with the Surrey club won the HA Cup and a Bronze medal in Europe.

In 2000 he took a step back from playing seriously, and assumed the role of Master in Charge of Hockey at a major public School.

Rich is also an internationally capped player. Whilst at Trojans as a youngster he played for Wales U18s and U21s, then when at university, successfully made his full debut to the senior squad in 1995. He represented his country at a European Championship, World Cup Qualifier and went to the Commonwealth Games in 1998 which were held in Kuala Lumpur.

More recently, he has naturally moved into Masters Hockey and has played Over 40s and Over 45s for Wales.

On the coaching front he had been coaching for the past thirty years at school, county and regional level; and had a stint as player coach in the East League.

Rich has a deep connection with Trojans HC, full of positivity, which also goes beyond just himself:

"Trojans is where I learnt to play hockey and where I played from the age of 11-18. I absolutely loved my time here and so when we moved back into the area it was an easy choice to return to Trojans. It is great to think that my children will be getting the sort of experiences I had at the club as they grow up. It is also nice that there are still so many people around who I was in teams with all those years ago, although it is hard to take that, prior to my return my last game for the 1s (1990) was before many of the current 1s were born! Trojans is a fantastic club and after my nomadic wandering over the past 30 years it definitely feels like ‘coming home."

Last season the 1s squad successfully retained their position in the top men's league in the southern region (South Premier Division) through the direction of the previous incumbent to the coach/manager's role, Mark Tubb, who has stepped down. The search for the person to take reigns of the role and continue the wave of success the team has been riding over the last few years, barely took any time at all. The team only had to look into its own ranks to find an extremely suitable and natural person for the job. When offered the role, Richard was only too happy to accept:

"Having played for the {Trojans] 1s last season and seen what a great group of players there were it was an easy decision to be involved this season. I’ve found everybody to be hugely welcoming and I hope that having played I’ve got a good understanding of the players we have available to us, and the tactics that suit us a playing group."

Rich will, of course, will be using his own experience and managerial style to improve upon what is already a quality outfit.

"Ian Bassett [player/coach] and Mark Tubb deserve huge praise for what they have achieved with the 1s and it certainly won’t be an easy act to follow. There isn’t much that needs to change as the groundwork has largely been done. The challenge now is to tighten up our consistency and to ensure that everybody understands their role and what they can contribute to the team."

"Hopefully I can bring my experience to bear on the role. I hope that I’m seen as an ‘internal’ candidate so I will be very mindful of what has been done before and not try and reinvent the wheel. I’ve always held myself to high standards and I hope that this rubs off on the players in the group."

There has also been a change in captaincy, with Richard 'Twiggy' Aves making way for Ben 'Frosty' Frost to take the on-pitch helm. Another solid member of the team and a great advocate at the club, choosing him as the next captain was an easy choice for Rich as his first executive decision in the role:

"Frosty has shown over the years how committed to the club he is and he continues to influence games and make a positive contribution to everything we do. He is hugely popular in the group but isn’t afraid to hold others to his high standards. We’ve got a number of younger players around the fringes at the moment and he will prove to be a great role model for them. That said, we are very lucky that Twiggy is still very much involved and a combination of pair of them makes for a very strong leadership group."

Ben 'Frosty' Frost - New Men's 1s Captain

So, everything is now set into place and ready to plough on ahead and hit the new season running, but what with the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a spanner into the works, things aren't going to be straightforward for the team:

"Planning at the moment is a little complicated! However, we are looking to get started late July and then really make progress through August and early September when hopefully the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted and we can get back to some semblance of normality. The players have already been sent a fitness programme and our aim is to use the time wisely to bring match fitness up and to hopefully get the core conditioning in which will avoid injury problems once the league season restarts."

Aspirations for the team definitely involves 'Development' as one of the main drivers. Along with the newly appointed Men's 2nd team coach, David Miles, working together with the first team, will be building up the abundance of talented youth players club boasts currently. Richard makes clear his ambitions:

"We have got a number of younger players around the fringes of the team and it will be great to see them grow and take on more responsibility. Having said that, the experienced players have ambition as well and so develop the group as a whole has to be the main goal. We need to build on last season, which saw us secure our place in the South Prem League, and this season aim to be more consistent, particularly in matches against clubs around our league placing."

The team will be looking for the amazing support from the rest of the club to continue, both from the sidelines and between games.

We all wish him well and the best of luck for the upcoming season.

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