LAST year the Leeds University Women’s Hockey 2s battled their way to victory against a formidable Beckett side in a fast-paced and furious encounter that saw the Gryphons win by three points to two. This year captain Katie Hopkisson is hoping her 1s can follow in the footsteps of last year’s victors and thereby secure wins across the board. The Gryphon was able to steal a few moments of the captain’s time and ask her some pressing questions concerning the lead-up to Varsity.
How have you and your team been preparing for the upcoming Varsity match?
The same as we would for every game. We want to win! We have had pre-season since the 1st September to get ourselves back to peak hockey fitness for the upcoming season. Our Saturday league has already begun so we have been training hard and playing hard already.
Obviously a new year means the loss of old players. How do you think your team will adjust to these changes this season?
Due to losing a few players to the real world and others to years out in their degrees, our team has changed quite a bit. Luckily we have had some good freshers join our team to replace them. We have been trying out a new formation already this year which is more attacking. Hopefully this will suit our new team well!
How important is it to win Varsity in order to kick off the season?
Our Saturday league provides us with another opportunity to play together and keep working towards becoming a better team.
What are your goals for this season and how do you hope to improve upon the last?
We missed out on promotion in our Saturday league by one point last year! This year we will get promoted! We want to stay in the BUCS Premiership, but advance further in the Cup than we did last year.
When interviewing Hopkisson, one gets the impression that she has instilled a sense of calm professionalism within her squad, as if the grand occasion that is Varsity will do nothing to distract her team from their goals. Hopefully this confident cool-headedness will help ensure the team’s success.
Featured image: The Gryphon