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Home Canterbury Sport Article
The Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championships begin this weekend with both the men and women playing the opening four games of their eight-game Premier Division campaigns.
However, the indoor version of the sport has been reduced to five-a-side from six, meaning teams will have to learn quickly once games push back on Saturday morning.
The men travel to Cocks Moor Woods in Birmingham for the opening round, preparing to face Reading and Loughborough on Saturday with East Grinstead and Doncaster to follow on Sunday.
Canterbury topped the table last year – winning six and drawing another of their eight games – before losing in the semi-finals at the Wembley finals day.
Player-coach Kwan Browne said: “We are not sure what to expect with the changes but, of course, we would like to repeat our success of last year.
“It will be tough, though, Reading and East Grinstead will miss their international players in the second round so they’ll be doing everything to maximise their return from the first weekend.”
Holcombe, Bowden, Sevenoaks and Beeston will face Canterbury in the second round at St George’s Park, Burton, on January 4 and 5.
Meanwhile, Canterbury Ladies will use the competition to maintain their fitness levels until the outdoor season resumes, according to coach Jen Wilson.
A year ago Canterbury lost five of their eight games to miss the finals day by six points but the city club face Sutton Coldfield and Slough at Bromsgrove School on Saturday before taking on Olton & West Warwicks and Harleston Magpies the following day.
Wilson said: “We tend to use the opportunity to keep our fitness levels up until the season restarts in February but with the sort of individual players we have here, they all want to compete in every game.”
Canterbury return to Bromsgrove on January 4 and 5 to face Reading, Bowdon Hightown, Leicester and East Grinstead.
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