Saturday, February 24, 2024

England Hockey set for 16 new teams into EHL

England Hockey has welcomed 16 new teams into the Men’s and Vitality Women’s England Hockey League (EHL) for the upcoming season, with the league allocations for the 2023-24 season now confirmed.

In the Men’s Premier Division, Cardiff and Met take their place in the top flight for the first time joined by Southgate who are promoted after eight season’s absence. In the Women’s Premier Division, Bowdon return after relegation in 2019-20 and Isca and Exeter University will be making their debut.

Brooklands MU and Exeter University are relegated to Men’s Division One North and Division One South respectively. Of the women’s teams relegated to Division One, Buckingham go North and Holcombe South.

Men’s Midlands Conference winners Harborne, and North Conference winners Leeds are promoted to Division One North. East winners, Richmond and West winners, Havant join Division One South.

Women’s Division One sees Olton and West Warwicks return to Division One North after a season’s absence along with Wakefield. Conference West winners Team Bath Buccaneers and East winners Barnes take their place in Division One South for the first time.  

Of the sixteen new teams joining the Conferences all bar one qualify as winners of their respective area leagues. The exception being Teddington who were second in the London Area League Premier Division.

Southgate won 18 from 18 games PIC: Simon Parker /spactionimages.com

London Wayfarers 2nd XI, who were winners, were not eligible for promotion as their 1st XI team are already in the EHL at Conference level and league regulations do not permit two teams from the same club to play at the same level.

The promoted clubs are below:

Vitality Women’s England Hockey League (Conferences)

Bowdon 2nd XI (North West), Clifton Robinsons 2nd XI (West), Fareham (South Central), Newcastle University (Yorkshire & North East), Old Georgians (South East), Old Loughtonians (East), Repton (Midlands), Teddington (London)

Men’s England Hockey League (Conferences)

Banbury (South Central), Cheltenham (West), Ipswich (East), Lindum (Yorkshire & North East), Old Georgians 2nd XI (South East), Oxton (North West), Stourport (Midlands), Wimbledon 2nd XI (London)

Clifton Robinsons 2nd XI and Old Loughtonians women and Cheltenham, Ipswich, Oxton and Stourport men are making a return to the EHL whereas it is a new challenge for the other promoted teams.

The allocations of the four Conferences and Division One North and South for 2023-24 season has now been determined.

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