Coach Warren says Wapping men being back in National League is where they belong

Wapping men's first team (pic Iain McAuslan)

Wapping men's first team (pic Iain McAuslan) - Credit: Archant

Wapping’s men are back in National League action in Conference East in 2019/20, bolstered by a series of promotions across the club.

Wapping women's first team (pic Iain McAuslan)

Wapping women's first team (pic Iain McAuslan) - Credit: Archant

The first team are coached by Warren D'Souza, who has represented England at every age group and won four English Premier League titles, as well as a Euro Hockey League bronze medal.

Brother Ryan will act as team manager, while Will Cairns captains the side, and D'Souza said: "Wapping is a fantastic hockey club. In recent years the club has developed into one of the biggest hockey clubs in the country.

"The playing membership is huge, the facilities are second to none and, most importantly to me, the club has an on-field ambition to be competing at the top of the tree."

Honorary president Stuart Burnside added: "This isn't an elite club, it is a grassroots-focused community club, that attracts some talented players, but has a growing track record developing its own talent.

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"The reason we are progressing is players reinvest their time in coaching, and everyone in the club can learn from each other. That's why you see us returning to the National League in stronger shape than our first foray."

Wapping's claim for a long-term National League spot has been buoyed by a series of promotions across their 11 men's teams, with their second team now playing at the highest regional level in East League Premier A.

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Wapping's women, led by captain Ciara Murphy, are keen to join the men in the National League too, radiating determination for the upcoming season.

Their pre-season campaign featured a number of games against National League opposition, including a win against a side from two divisions higher.

While across the rest of the eight teams sides, determination is every bit as high, as chair Caroline Dale added: "There is no doubt that the Ladies sevens are trying just as hard to win their league as the ones.

"What is great about hockey is we can offer the right level of competition to such a wide range of players, in one thriving club."

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