Over the course of the coming season Ill be interviewing certain stand out players, trying to find out more about what sparked their interest in hockey. First up is our Men’s 1Xl goal keeper, James Stock, who has returned to the club this season after his previous season playing in the national league.
At what age did you first start playing hockey and what sparked your initial interest for the sport?
I was about 9 – our parents were great at getting us involved in different things so Sunday morning hockey was one of the many things we did. Anything to get us out the house!
Have you always been a goalkeeper, and if you were to play in any other position what would it be and why?
Pretty much always a goalkeeper, I always thought all the pads were very cool and wanted to give it a go, think I first wore a kit in my first season and haven’t looked back since. If I wasn’t in goal I would, like all goalkeepers, become a forward and almost certainly be instantly competing at international level.
What did you take away most from your national league experience last season?
That it is quite a step up from East Prem A! It was really great though, every week coming up against individuals or a team who’ve got international honours, or recent Prem experience. A really good challenge and pleased to have had the opportunity to do that.
What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming season?
Not travelling for nearly an hour to get to training and home games! But it’s been great to get back involved with the squad, it’s almost like I didn’t miss a season and I’ve got the cherryade challenge out the way which is the best bit of all.
Which player is your main inspiration and why?
David Carter, he was Chelmsford Men’s 1st keeper and a junior international back when I first started. He did a lot of coaching with the junior keepers and it was just awesome to have access to that a young age. He was so friendly and helpful, and mostly incredible to watch play. My clearest memory is of his debut with the men’s 1st XI, and he saved a penalty flick against Loughborough Students. I was 10 and seriously impressed.
Do you have any other sporting interests besides hockey?
I’ll give just about anything a go, I play a bit of squash and can run if I really have to.
Thank you to Stocky for your time and good humour in conducting this interview. Best of luck in the coming season. The men’s 1s will be playing Letchworth at home next Saturday at 14:00.