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Captain’s Log – Richard West, Gloucester City Hockey Club

Gloucester > Sport > Hockey

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 22nd September 2017, 13:00

Richard West is Gloucester city’s new first-team captain Richard West is Gloucester city’s new first-team captain

New season, new captain and plenty of ambition at Gloucester City Hockey Club.

Richard West is the new man in charge of the first team’s on the pitch affairs this season and the central defender does not beat about the bush when asked what the club’s ambitions are.

“We want promotion this season,” he said. “We’re playing in the Championship which is two levels below the National League. We really want to go up this season and then take it from there.”

Although two go up this season it is still a big ask for Gloucester who finished fifth last season, well adrift of the promotion places.

“It was a mixed season,” admitted West. “We had some good results and some horrific results.”

However, West, 26, is encouraged by the arrival of some new faces for the 2017/18 campaign.

Centre-back Ian Ewart has returned from Swansea University and will be a reassuring presence at the back while Adam Stove is another player committed to the cause after playing the other side of the Severn Bridge last season.

He has joined from Whitchurch and is also a defender and they will be lining up in front of new goalkeeper Darren Dixon.

There was also relief around the club when young central midfielder Jonathan Broadhurst opted to pursue his further education studies at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester rather than head north to Loughborough.

West, who says Gloucester will probably play a 3-5-2 formation this season, has been with the club for 10 years.

“I started off in the junior section when I was 15 and I’ve played in every team in the club to get to where I am,” he said. “And in those days we had five senior teams.”

So why did he decide to become captain?

“It was something I’d fancied for a while,” he said. “When nobody stepped forward I said I’d do it. It’s the first time I’ve been captain of any team so I know I’m jumping in the deep end!”

So, what kind of captain will he be?

“I’m not into motivational team talks,” he laughed. “I won’t prepare any speeches or anything like that. I’ll say it as I think it. I’m more someone who tries to lead by example and hopefully the rest of the team will follow me.”

Surprisingly for someone who has been playing the game since the age of eight, West, a former pupil at King’s School, does not rate himself as a player.

“I was rubbish when I started,” he said. “I was always the least skilful player in the team. But I was enthusiastic and I could run and tackle.”

So, if he could run and tackle, he must have been good at rugby?

“I was too much of a wimp for rugby,” he laughed.

While rugby is not his game, cricket certainly has been although his work commitments – he’s fundraising manager for the Pied Piper Appeal – have restricted his playing time with Apperley this season.

“I’d like to tell you I’m an all-rounder but I’m not,” he chuckled. “I bowl medium pace away swingers.”

At least if he’s played very little cricket in the summer just gone he should be fresh for the hockey season. Gloucester will certainly be hoping so because the new campaign is clearly very important for the club.

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