Playing no League hockey but only friendlies, the Veterans’ team comprises players of differing backgrounds and experience, but all with a keen intention to enjoy their games, and the company of like-minded others. Technically, Veterans start as young as 35, though, ideally mid 40s is better. Sutton Valence Vets current team’s ages span from early 50s to over 80, and they are always looking for returning past players or those current ones who have become tired of League hockey, and want to enjoy the game again.
This season the Vets will again be playing Southern Counties’ Hockey Conference teams, both home and away. This gives a stronger base to the Vets’ match list, though it means some longer travel to take in teams in the Thames Valley area. It is hoped to still allow for games against Blackheath, Chelmsford and Canterbury Friars, though as they all play League hockey, available times are limited. The Tonka Tournament at Chelmsford, normally the last outing for the season, did not happen again last season, and its future is not yet certain.
Past weather-related problems with the teams still having home grass pitches, and a reluctance on the part of some of the Thames Valley teams to play on grass anyway, has lead Conference to accept that most games will be played on astro. Valence Vets are happy to play on either surface.
Anyone with the right age profile, tired of the League aggravation but wanting to play competitive but enjoyable hockey should get in touch.
Vets voted 'Team of the Year' at Southern Counties' Hockey Conference AGM for the second season running. Not based on results, fortunately, but on the team that others "most enjoyed playing against, on the pitch and in the bar". Think Charlie's half-time tipples and the Queen's Head ambience had a lot to do with it.