Buckingham Ladies Hockey Club are relishing the challenge of their first ever season in the Investec Premier Division ahead of this weekend’s season opener.
Following three years of near misses, Buckingham finally won promotion to the top tier of English hockey at the end-of-season play-offs in April and will make their debut this Saturday when they travel to Clifton.
The Bristol-based outfit will represent a stern test for Buckingham after they featured in last year’s Championship play-offs having finished fourth in the Premier Division.
Buckingham go into the game full of confidence, though, following a promising pre-season where they racked up 19 goals and conceded just five, with wins coming over Conference North champions Brooklands, Premier League side Beeston as well as Slough.
The club won seven of their eight friendlies – their only loss a 2-1 defeat to reigning champions Surbiton.
The arrival of three new players has made the squad stronger than ever. New additions include Northampton-based England A player Amie Hone from relegated Oulton, Scottish international Morag Mclellan, who has moved down south to join Great Britain’s full-time centralised training programme at Bisham Abbey, and Australian Caitlin Wales.
The addition of these player mixed with a number of the club’s emerging young home-grown talents, including 15-year-old Kirsty Freshwater who made her first XI debut against Gloucester, means there is real competition for places and a depth in the squad that has not been seen at Buckingham before.
Tomorrow’s encounter kicks-off at 1pm.