The Hockey Paper is delighted to announce the most exciting line-up of columnists ever assembled by a hockey journal.
Our unrivalled coverage will now be bolstered by a fresh selection of top coaches, players, umpires and journalists to add to our popular array of current columnists.
The next 12 months will feature two World Cups, a Commonwealth Games and other top tournaments and we will be there every step of the way.
One of the most successful coaches in history, Alyson led the Dutch women’s team to silver at the Rio Olympics and most recently to gold at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. As a player Alyson earned 228 caps for Australia, netting 166 times and was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 2013. Alyson recently left her coaching role with the Netherlands women’s team but remains one of the highest-profile names in the hockey world.
Great Britain’s most recognisable male player, ‘man in the mask’ Sam Ward hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in November 2019 when he suffered a horrific injury in an Olympic qualifier, losing the sight in his left eye. Following an incredible comeback to elite hockey and an Olympic place, Sam is setting his sights on helping English club Old Georgians qualify for Europe for the first time in history. He initially started out as a car salesman, didn’t quite manage to make it as a professional cricketer, which he describes as his ‘dream job’, before going through the ranks at Beeston HC and a move south.
Anna is the daughter of Frank Toman, a legendary Gaelic footballer who broke records by winning the prestigious Hogan Cup with two different schools before going on to represent Armagh in the all-Ireland final. Fortunately for us, Anna chose hockey, and is closing in on 100 caps for England and Great Britain, including appearances at the Europeans, Commonwealths and Olympics Games. She recently moved from Wimbledon HC to Dutch side SCHC.
David started his hockey career at Cork Harlequins before playing for Pembroke Wanderers in Dublin, earning his first Ireland cap in August 2006 on the same weekend as his sister Emer and brother Conor. He now plays for Kampong in the Dutch league. Renowned for his incredible shot-stopping ability, David is a towering presence in goal for club and country. Having recently studied for his Sports Business Masters, he has one eye on the future, and was also re-elected for the European Olympic Committee in December.
Celine Martin Schmets
One of the most recognisable umpires on the international circuit, Celine is known for her smiling face and calm demeanour. She has officiated in the Europeans, Pro League, Champions Trophy and Youth Olympics. She started umpiring aged 16 to help out at her club – and when she found out she had a talent for it, her mum pushed her to pursue her new-found passion. Five years later, she took charge of her first international game. Previously a top player herself, she competed in Belgium both indoors and outdoors.
Jonathan, or JJ, is a performance psychologist and executive coach, who has worked with The FA, RFU, British Canoeing, and most recently, F1 and F2 racing drivers. His areas of expertise include: creating and sustaining high performance environments, managing high performance teams, and developing leadership capabilities. Jonathan runs a business called Adaptive Mind which offers these services to elite level organisations. www.adaptivemind.co.uk
Dan is a performance nutritionist where he helps athletes understand what they need to put into their body to maximise performance. His experience spans multiple sports; he has worked with Manchester City FC, Sale Sharks RUFC, and Warrington Wolves RLFC. Dan’s company, DRN Nutrition, provide athletes, clubs and schools with nutritional support, ranging from basic plans to advanced, tailored advice. www.drnnutrition.co.uk
Henry is a man on a mission: to enable hockey players to excel by providing them with the very best training content available. Having noticed there was very little hockey-specific information available, Henry set up Integrate Sports, who seek to advance hockey performance through strength and conditioning, by eradicating confusion and making training more effective. Coaches, clubs, athletes and parents are now able to benefit from his high-quality advice. Henry also works for the English Institute of sport. www.integratesports.com
Setting hockey’s agenda
Our top signings will add to our unrivalled breadth of coverage across the sport. With news coverage led by our editor Rod Gilmour, we will also have insight and knowledge from ‘Top of the D’ Ross Bone, our coaching guru Todd Williams, as well as Matt Taylor from coaching specialists MT13, performance coach and former international Lauren Penny, forthright opinion from Mani Kochar and Rupert Barker, chartered physiotherapist Heidi Wells, Peter D’Cruz, who contributes coaching columns and the view from the US, and the ups and downs of being a club secretary with Southgate’s Alastair Whatley.
Be a part of our unrivalled coverage and grow your brand with the biggest reach in hockey. If you are an advertiser, please contact us for a bespoke proposal to suit your needs. D’ Ross Bone