Keeper makes switch to ri­vals

Hockey

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Ash­ford Hockey Club have con­firmed the de­par­ture of long-serv­ing goal­keeper Keir Star­ley fol­low­ing his switch to Kent Sus­sex Re­gional 1 ri­vals and old foes Folke­stone.

The 33-year-old’s de­fec­tion, at the start of his 18th sea­son in se­nior hockey, ends a 12-year stay at Ball Lane – his sec­ond spell with the club, hav­ing re­turned in 2003 fol­low­ing six years at Can­ter­bury.

Star­ley played his first game for Ash­ford at the age of 12, mak­ing his first-team de­but three years later.

Strate­gic coach Daran Cass said: “Keir and I had a long con­ver­sa­tion about things. There was no an­i­mos­ity about him leav­ing, he wants to play with his friends at Folke­stone but we hope he will come back one day in the fu­ture.”

Mean­while, Ash­ford men con­tin­ued their build-up to the new sea­son on Oc­to­ber 3rd, los­ing 2-1 against both Folke­stone and East­bourne in a tri­an­gu­lar tour­na­ment.

Cass said: “We had a good blend of first team and sec­ond team play­ers in­volved.

“There were re­ally pos­i­tive signs de­spite the defeats, and things are look­ing bright.”

Ash­ford con­tinue their prepa­ra­tions with a home friendly against Maid­stone on Satur­day (1pm).

The 2nds visit Med­way club Hol­combe (3.30pm).

The 3rds warmed up for the new cam­paign with a 4-2 win over Herne Bay at Ash­ford School.

Skip­per Matt Carter, Matt Bar­low, Robin Miller and Matt Good­win were their scor­ers.

The ladies’ 2nds and 3rds, both play­ing

Thur­rock v Brom & Becks 2nds, Red­bridge & Il­ford v Haver­ing, Burnt Ash v East Lon­don 1, Tun­bridge Wells 2nds v Ash­ford, Black­heath OE v Wap­ping 2nds, BBHC v Can­ter­bury 2A.

Ash­ford 2nds 1 Bex­ley­heath & Belvedere 2nds 4, New Bec­ce­hamian 0 Folke­stone Op­ti­mist 2nds 6, Tun­bridge Wells 3rds 1 Brom­ley and Beck­en­ham 3rds 2, Black­heath and OEs 2nds 6 Ash­ford 3rds 0, Herne Bay 1 Hol­combe 2nds 3, Sevenoaks Acorns 4 Mar­den Rus­sets 3.

Ash­ford 3rds v Tun­bridge Wells 3rds, Hol­combe 2nds v Sevenoaks Acorns, Folke­stone Op­ti­mist 2nds v Black­heath and OEs 2nds, Mar­den Rus­sets v New Bec­ce­hamian, Brom­ley and Beck­en­ham 3rds v Ash­ford 2nds, Bex­ley­heath & Belvedere 2nds v Herne Bay. in Kent Di­vi­sion 1 this sea­son, started with defeats on Satur­day.

The 2nds lost 4-1 at Brom­ley & Beck­en­ham, de­spite Amy Thomas putting them in front.

The 3rds went down Black­heath.

The 1sts, un­der new cap­tain An­nie White, be­gin their East Women’s League South East Di­vi­sion cam­paign with a trip to Tun­bridge Wells 2nds on Satur­day.

Mean­while, Cass has reaf­firmed Ash­ford’s in­ten­tion to be more proac­tive in their bid to boost the play­ing strength through­out the club.

He said: “We want to at­tract all ages and abil­i­ties, they don’t have to be the best play­ers in the world but en­joy play­ing and to be part of the so­cial as­pect of the club.”

6-0 against

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