A Message From The Chairman

Hello and welcome to another year at EUMHC. 

Firstly, if you are an incoming fresher, congratulations on being selected into the best university hockey club in the country. It is a great privilege to be a member of this club. I always remember being told during my first ever social that the hockey club will come to define your time at university. At first, I must admit I thought this was just drunken nostalgia, however, as I begin my fourth year here I can now see just how true this statement was, and that this truly is no ordinary club. 

EUMHC continues to play at the highest standard of English hockey. The cancellation of the Premier League last year sees the continuation of our 1st XI’s record-breaking stint in the top flight, while the restructuring of the National Leagues has enabled an exciting return for our 2nd XI. I believe we may even still have a BUCS Gold Trophy residing somewhere near the Nando’s! Elsewhere in the club, we can look forward to the return of BUCS hockey for the 3s to 6s, as well as the resumption of a number of inter-club rivalries in weekend league hockey. The 3s, 4s and 5s will all play in the Championship South, while the 6s and 7s will contest the South and Central Conferences respectively.

As my predecessor, Nairn Guilbert, referred to in his outgoing message, last year was, similarly to the rest of the world, unlike any other the club, and the university as a whole, had ever experienced. Faced with a number of challenges on and off the pitch, I could not be more proud of how all the club’s members conducted themselves. The boys constantly tried to make the best of the situation and fully bought into whatever was required of them to get hockey on when possible. Furthermore, I would like to thank the committee and our Director of Hockey, Harry Jones, for all they did to ensure that the club ran as smoothly and successfully as possible given the circumstances.

The slow return to normality has allowed the return of the regular hockey programme here at Exeter. I am delighted to report that our 1s and 2s August pre-season was attended by over 50 players, reflecting not only the commitment of current members, but the strength of incoming freshers. While this large cohort may well have effectively ended my incredibly far-fetched dreams of completing club bingo, it does serve to show the great depth in talent that the club continues to develop despite the constant turnover in players.

Just as importantly, the end of COVID rules will see the return of fun for EUMHC. Following a year without socials, I know all the boys, both new and old, are excited to get back to Timepiece and the Nando’s. Our 1s and their Premier League opposition cannot wait for the return of the Snakey, which has easily provided the best atmosphere in the league for the last few seasons. This year will hopefully see other club traditions reappear after their short hiatus, such as Christmas Dinner and Edinburgh 5s, as well as a long overdue EOSD.

As ever, this year the club will not focus solely on hockey, as we look to continue our fundraising efforts for charities such as MIND and Movember. The work charities such as these do is incredibly inspiring and is dear to the hearts of many of the boys here, and so the importance of raising money for them is not lost on our members. Each year members of the club set themselves an array of different challenges to raise money, and I am sure this trend will continue in full force. In fact, our ‘pre-freshers’ have revived their tradition of becoming human statues on Exeter high street, raising over £100 for Cancer Research UK.

Finally, I would like to wish Jack Taylor and all the incoming committee members the best as they begin their new roles. I have great trust in them, and I am sure that they will be able to drive the club from strength to strength. When it comes to writing the annual end of season review, I am confident that I will be able to report on another successful year for this great club.

Joe Sullivan
Chairman, Exeter University Hockey Club