Aiming for the top
Graham Moodie, Head of Men’s Performance Hockey, talks player development, European competition and video analysis in this month’s staff focus.
The University is a centre for Scottish hockey. Its facilities at Peffermill, which include two international class water-based Astroturf pitches, are amongst the best in Europe, and host the majority of Scottish Hockey’s domestic and international programme.
There are 7 teams for men and 8 for women, all playing in national or local leagues and both the men’s and women’s first XIs play in the respective top divisions of Scottish hockey.
History and ambition
The University also boasts a proud history in the sport, from a first unbeaten season from the men’s first XI in 1908/9, to the career of alumnus Alison Ramsay who attained over 250 international caps for Scotland and Great Britain and was one of the first inductees into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
The club is also ambitious for the future as we learnt when we talked to Graham Moodie, Head of Men’s Performance Hockey who was made a full time coach 2012. Graham has brought a wealth of experience to the role including a career that includes 56 Great Britain caps and 148 Scotland caps.
My role at the University involves leading and coaching all aspects the Men’s performance programme (1st team and development squads). This is my 6th season coaching the team and our sixth consecutive season in Scotland’s top National league.
Alongside a coaching team that also includes Olympic bronze medal winner Dennis Hay, the performance programme also provides access to physiotherapy and strength and conditioning sessions in the exclusive performance gym at the University’s Centre for Sport and Exercise.
Graham considers the biggest success of the programme to date to be
our ability to develop players for International programmes. Scotland seniors Callum Duke and David Forrester, and Scotland A squad member Andrew Campbell, have all come through the University programme.
There are also exciting prospects for the future including Gordon Amour and Jamie Wong who were selected to be part of the Great Britain under 21 training squad this year.
Graham’s aim is to become
one of the top 4 teams in Scotland, and is keen to compete in the BUCS Championship and challenge Britain’s top Universities on a weekly basis.
Thinking longer term and the focus is European competition and representing Scotland as one of its elite sides.
For this ambition to become reality, Graham stresses the need for the University to invest in performance analysis, which is why a new security camera behind the goals at Peffermill is another cause for optimism.
Our highest finish in recent years has been 7th but we have spent a lot of time on developing our squad standards and behaviours as well as our style of play and we believe we have one of Britain’s top University player development programmes.
Was the hockey club central to your university experience? Are you keen to stay involved with the club and support its future development?
On the 23rd May 2015, the hockey club will be hosting a reunion ball at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa for hockey graduates of Edinburgh and their partners. The night will comprise of a formal dinner, promise auction, a ceilidh, and of course multiple games of fives.
Please save the date in your diary and stay tuned for further details including booking information.