Development fuels the ethos of Cambridge Nomads
Growing club is on the rise
A social club with the overriding aim of progression is the perfect way to describe Cambridge Nomads.
The city is blessed with hockey clubs, with all three offering their own character and purpose for the players they serve.
Nomads have been in existence for more than 100 years, although it was a later merger with Cambridge Ladies that brought the women’s teams under the same umbrella.
There are currently more than 100 senior players at Nomads, who have three men’s teams, two ladies’ teams and a mixed social team.
The strength of the club has seen them get back into form in recent years, culminating last season with the men’s first team earning promotion back into the East Men’s League, Division One after five years away – when the match with now Conference East team Cambridge City was a big derby.
“The overriding ethos of the club is progression of the juniors through the teams and that every player will play,” said Mike Longson, who is club membership secretary.
“We would like to get another men’s team out and develop the junior section a lot more.
“Overall we are a social club getting back into the swing of things. Everyone who comes to Nomads develops as a player and gets better.
“We have trained and developed Welsh internationals and hosted a few players before they progressed onto playing National League hockey with other clubs.”
And the junior section is clearly of major importance to the Nomads.
They have between 70 and 80 youngsters training in three groups each, broadly at under-10, under-12 and under-14 levels, with four coaches and then up to 12 extra coaches and helpers.
The boys’ and girls’ under-14 teams play in the regional East Hockey Leagues, with six match days per season, while the under-10s and under-12s play in locally organised East Hockey Leagues of eight clubs.
Nomads also intend to start under-six and under-16 teams in the coming years, with the current youngest players being seven and the oldest are 14.
“Juniors can train with the ladies’ and men’s teams when they are 13 or confident enough,” said Nomads’ junior membership secretary Tim Fieth.
“If they want to stay with us at 13 that’s fine. There is loads of excitement, energy, keenness to learn from kids. The future is bright.
“I’d also add two parts of our philosophy. One is about involvement and participation – everyone plays, this is not about elite development.
“Secondly, we are really keen on supporting kids from the city state schools. This has been a real focus of how we’ve engaged with some of the local schools and encouraged their pupils to play.”
It was a mixed bag of results for Nomads last weekend, with the men’s teams losing and the women’s sides winning.
Martin Hamon was on target for the first team in Division One as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Upminster.
In the Cambridge derby in 4NW, Nomads II lost 2-0 to South II – with teenager Tom Steed getting both goals – and the third team lost 4-3 to Kettering III in 6NW (S), with Pete Jarvis, Rob Furlong and Julian Shellard, but a lack of subs proved a problem in the closing stages.
Two goals from Ruth Marriott and one from Ellie Martin gave Cambridge Nomads a 3-1 win over Alford & District in East Women’s League, Division 2NW, and in 4NW (S), Nomads II won 8-0 against Wisbech Town III.