Gareth Andrew is appointed player-coach at Cambridge City Hockey Club
One of leading scorers in England Men's Hockey League to take over from Nick Thompson
Gareth Andrew is aiming to help guide Cambridge City Hockey Club to the next level after being appointed their new player-coach.
The 37-year-old forward is one of the top scorers in the history of the England Men’s Hockey League, and was last season playing for Beeston in the Premier Division.
He has though made the step down to the Conference East to take over at the helm of City from Nick Thompson, who is standing aside for family reasons but will still be coaching at the club.
“They contacted me and asked if I would be interested,” said Andrew.
“I think it’s the right time for me to take on a role like that so I thought let’s give it a go; they are a good up-and-coming club.
“They have got new facilities, a clubhouse, some good players so it’s quite an attractive proposition.
“They have been in the National League for a long time now so they want to take the next step and push on, and with the league structures changing next year there is a good opportunity to push on and try to get in the Premier Division.”
Andrew has a vast array of experience from some of the top clubs in the country and abroad.
He has played in Europe and represented England, while in this country the sides he has featured for include City of Peterborough, Cannock, Holcombe and Beeston, scoring more than 200 goals in the process.
Andrew admits that it was a difficult decision to take a step down from the Premier Division, but is looking ahead to his coaching days and nurturing the next generation.
“I had to take hockey out of it,” he said. “I would love to carry on playing in the Premier Division but that’s not my future.
“I’m 37 now and I’ve got to think about my future; I think it’s the right time to step down and concentrate on my coaching role.
“It was a difficult decision, but in terms of the coaching side of things it was right.”
And he added: “I played in the Premier Division last year so hopefully they can learn a bit off me in terms of coaching and playing, and drawn on my experiences as well.”
City chairman Andy Richardson said: “We’re really pleased as Gareth is a really good player and his goals will add to the first team.
“He will be really good for some of the younger, less experienced players we have who have a lot of flair and talent.”
Thompson has been with City for around 10 years, and will now be taking on more of a backseat role and instead support the junior coaching at the club.
“He wanted a bit of a change as he has a young family now,” said Richardson. “He is a brilliant junior coach as well, particularly between those 12 to 18 years old.
“He wants to stay around which is brilliant for us.”
Cambridge City have announced a three-year sponsorship deal with law firm Bircham Dyson Bell.