2003 – 2004

Men’s Captain: H. Sebastian Schilling

Women’s Captain: Nicola Blucher

In terms of measurable success, this past season has been rather disappointing for the men’s team following the loss of key players such as Richard Stuckey, David Nasralla, Thomas Tayler and Richard Shimell and the temporary departure of last year’s captain Thomas Cross to Spain. The season began with Matthew Rowe in charge of the team, and the club frequently struggled to turn up to a match with a full squad of eleven players, despite being well reinforced by freshers Jim Riddiford and Mark Gray. Unfortunately for everyone playing hockey this season, the core of the team consisting of the regular players Mark Gray, Neil Bowen, Mark Tindle, Jim Riddiford, Rhodri Harris, Sebastian Schilling, Philipp Schartau and, most amazingly, Fiona Guest, was too small to accommodate the frequent turnover of players throughout the season. Despite the admirable efforts of those who were persuaded to play at rather short notice, it appeared to be an almost insurmountable challenge for the captains to make this ever-changing group of players function as a unit. Usually ending up with an excess supply of wingers and defenders, Queen’s mostly played incredibly solidly at the back with Tindle leading by example with his consistently high level of effort and enthusiasm, together with Harris in central defence and Guest at left back. However, since the squad normally changed on a weekly basis, the captain was forced to try out some partly revolutionary formations in order to give every player a chance to make the most of his or her appearance in a favoured position. Unfortunately, these measures did not always have the desired effect on our attacking game and, despite the breathtaking skills of Riddiford on the right wing, Queen’s often encountered difficulties when fighting for control over the midfield. Centre forward Schartau suffered heavily from his striking partner Schilling dropping back into midfield and it was not until mixed Cuppers that German efficiency began to be a defining characteristic of the team’s forward play. Nevertheless, the team should take some positive memories into the next season. The performance from set pieces, especially short corners, has been greatly improved since last year and Queen’s also seems to have a good record of defending them. More importantly, however, it has been owing to this season’s tremendous team spirit amongst those truly committed to the cause that, despite the lack of apparent success, it was possible to enjoy those bright moments of tactical geniality out on the pitch.