Grant Gilmour looks for Cambridge City to put down marker for future in Men’s Hockey League
Grant Gilmour wants Cambridge City to put down a marker to build on in future years in the Men’s Hockey League this season.
It has been a summer of change at Wilberforce Road, with the new head coach taking over from Gareth Andrew and a number of player departures.
City were in Division One North for the first time last season, but it was a difficult start before the pandemic led to the abandonment of the campaign.
Gilmour will bring a fresh approach to the side, but is no stranger to City.
He has been with the club for nearly 10 years, and has been coaching for the last five years, gaining valuable experience as Helen Richardson-Walsh’s assistant with the women’s side last year.
“We’re looking really strong now, and I’m so happy with the team,” said Gilmour.
“We’ve got a Scottish international called Gordon Armour, who is a quality bloke and a really good player.
“Another lad has come in from Exeter, Kieran Walton, who has been playing in the National Premier League for the last couple of years.
“We’ve had some youth guys who have come into the club. There is a youngster called Tom Spreckley, who is 16 and came in from Letchworth, having just made it into the NAGs (National Age Group programme) England set-up.
“We’ve got about three or four youngsters that have stepped in, who have made up for all the players that have gone.
“Our starting XI is really good and we’ve got some really solid youth players that have stepped up and into those gaps.
“We’re in a far better position than we thought we were going to be, and it was good to get a new team, new faces and restart.
“It’s a new head coach, new players, new tactics and new formation, and it’s just going really well.”
Gilmour is being assisted by Jon Peckett, former Great Britain and England international and The Perse School coach, while Sam Coe is manager and strength and conditioning coach.
“To have Jon’s insight and experience has been amazing, he is such a top bloke as well,” said Gilmour.
“Sam is so key to the team. I don’t know if there are many in this country that are as good as him, he is so good for what he does with us with fitness, and strength and conditioning.”
Tom Butler is another new addition this season, having returned to the club from Exeter, but will miss the early stages of the campaign because of a knee injury.
Redvers Wilbur will continue to captain the side.
“He is the best bloke for the job,” said Gilmour.
“He is such a club man and role model for the kids, very fit, always wants to do the right thing and really good just for the youngsters to look up to as well.”
He added: “I think we’re going to do really well this year and I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people.
“I think this is the building block now for the next couple of years, if we can solidify ourselves in this league and start pushing in the next few years.”
City start their season at home to rivals City of Peterborough on Sunday (September 26).