PORTRUSH Hockey Club resumed pre-season training last week with a fresh impetus and an appeal for new faces to add to the squad.
Members met at the all-weather pitch at the Quay Road Playing Fields in Ballycastle for a inter-club game and officials were encouraed by the turn out even though matches in the leagues won’t be starting until early September.
Most of the team members who performed last season are back with one or two exceptions - it appears that the newly-formed Rugby Club in the town has snatched at least one former player, Luke McMullan, who was a regular with the Firsts.
However, Portrush are confident that their policy of encouraging students from Ballycastle High School, where hockey is the main sport, to join them will pay off in the future.
“We have a number of young players who have the talent and, just as important, the enthusiasm and dedication to make a valuable contribution to Portrush,” Aaron Kerr
Expectations at present are modest but the club are planning to put more emphasis on coaching which should result in better performances on the pitch.
Sponsorship is another key factor in the Portrush plan for the forthcoming season. Currently, the Central Bar, provided an important financial lifeline and the club are hoping the arrangement put in place with management at one of Ballycastle’s top restaurant and bars, will continue.
But there’s is always the need for more sponsorship to maintain the club’s presence in junior hockey and in the next few weeks, officials will be hoping to persuade more businesses to come forward with financial backing.
Meanwhile, the club have named Captains and Vice-Captains of their respective sides for the new season. Aaron Kerr will skipper the Firsts with John Dillon as his Vice-Captain, while Tom Cartmill will look after the Seconds with Trevor Kilpatrick as his vice-captain.
Training sessions are held every Wednesday night in Ballycastle starting at 7 p.m. New faces will always be made welcome.