[img_assist|nid=6471|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=94|height=100]LOUGHBOROUGH, November 2 – The fireworks start early in the England men’s hockey league with Loughborough Students hosting Beeston in a premier division derby encounter on Friday night.
This is a weekend for re-arranged matches after the Euro Hockey League as the England Hockey Futures Cup ties up many of the country’s top 15- to 18-year-olds at Cannock.
Table-toppers Beeston are one of the few sides in action. They sit three points ahead of Canterbury and five ahead of Cannock in third place.
Last weekend the Bees notched up two victories, over Southgate in the league and Bowdon in the cup, stretching their winning run in all competitions to 17.
Meanwhile Loughborough Students will be aiming to build on the 5-2 win they recorded over Brooklands MU last weekend which lifted them up to fourth in the table.
Canterbury are also on the road, travelling to Saint Hill Road to play East Grinstead on Saturday evening.
After a good start to the season which saw them win their first two matches, East Grinstead have suffered a spate of injuries and are without a win in their last four league matches.
And later on Saturday evening, bottom of the table Surbiton play host to Reading (7pm start) with both sides desperate for points – Surbiton because they want to avoid the drop, and Reading because they want to keep pace with the top four.
Finally, Sunday sees the only other league match taking place in the conference east, with Richmond entertaining Bromley and Beckenham.
The Futures Cup sees more than 300 of the country’s most promising young players, officials and coaches participate in a tournament designed to replicate the professional environment of an international hockey tournament.
As well as providing the young participants with vital tournament experience, the Futures Cup offers them an opportunity to showcase their abilities to the coaches of the England Hockey U16 and U18 teams, who will be in attendance.
England Men’s Hockey League
Friday, November 2
Loughborough Students v Beeston 20:00
Saturday, November 3
East Grinstead v Canterbury 18:00
Surbiton v Reading 19:00
Sunday, November 4
Richmond v Bromley & Beckenham 13:30