Leyland and Chorley Hockey Club ladies’ 1sts are battling it out with some of the nation’s biggest sides to be crowned England Hockey’s women’s team of the year.
L&C are one of four teams in the running for the national gong that will be decided on Saturday, May 21, at the Madejski Stadium in Reading.
Leyland’s ‘Invincibles’ had an unbeaten season, as they stormed to another promotion after winning 15 matches and only drawing three times, as they bagged the Lancashire Central Women’s Hockey League Premier Division title.
That scintillating form – which saw them smash in 82 goals and only concede 14 times all season – has bagged them national recognition.
And captain Sarah Bullen says it is an honour to be nominated alongside Leeds Adel 1st XI, Timperley 1st XI and Wapping 7th XI.
And she says it is credit to the progress the club has made in the last few years, as they have gone from having just seven players to a thriving and successful women’s club.
Bullen said: “It is an honour and we are so pleased that all of our hard work has been recognised.
“It is a joy to be involved in this club.”
Coach Rob Alty added: “This is a particularly rewarding nomination because it is a reward for all the hard work that many people have put in over the last four years with the club.
“Without the hard work and determination along with the vision and passion we simply wouldn’t have this nomination.
“It is an honour to have been shortlisted for the England Hockey team of the season.
“I personally would like to thank every single player, supporter, parent and club member for the ongoing support. Whatever the result, we know we are already winners and as such we should celebrate our success, not only as a club but as Lancashire representation.”
And Bullen says the club have the Back2Hockey programme to thank for their success.
The England Hockey initiative has helped the club attract new players and grow from nearly folding to a three-strong ladies division and an equally thriving junior section.
The club has just started this summer’s Back2Hockey sessions that are held at Buckshaw Village every Saturday until June 11 from noon to 1pm.
And Bullen urged anyone who fancies trying the sport to come down.
She said: “We would not be in this position without Back2Hockey.
“I’d urge anyone who wants to have a laugh, make new friends and keep fit to come and try the sport.”