Sunday, May 19, 2024

Uddingston continue to build towards ambitions of being top in Scotland and beyond

The last time we caught up with Uddingston Hockey Club they had just been awarded European Hockey Federation Large Club of the Year 2022 — they also won small club of the year in 2015 — where they intimated to The Hockey Paper that they had been working on a new Development Plan for season 2023/24 onwards. It would involve major changes both on and off the pitch this summer.

Therefore, as we are always interested to hear what ambitious clubs such as Uddingston are up to we caught up with their president, Allan McGill, to find out their plans and key aims from their new development plan.

THP – Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. How has the 2022/23 season been for the club?

UHC – Thanks for asking us to be interviewed again. Last season pretty much went as planned, with all teams finishing as expected but importantly both 1st teams retaining their positions within the Premiership, which was key.

The first season post Covid was mainly about consolidation for us with further investment made off the pitch; new dugouts, video gantries erected to allow Uddy TV to be fully established and a hospitality suite overlooking the pitch, among others areas such as working towards a net zero plan by installing LED floodlights, improved wifi, pitch equipment, etc, whilst we developed a longer term “on the pitch” plan for season 23/24 onwards.

THP – The pictures of your facility and reports back from those that have visited show that you have invested heavily over the last few years, and it very much is one of the best hockey focused facilities.


UHC – We are very proud of our facility, and we have a simple aim of trying to make it one of the best to not only play at but also visit for players, coaches, and supporters alike. A recent quote from a visiting England parent of the recent Scotland V England series – “I thought the club was a super place to host the event, with outstanding facilities, space for the kids when not playing and lots of useful shops nearby. I appreciate the effort that must have gone on behind the scenes on your part to make things progress so smoothly”.

THP – So you say you have been working on a longer-term development plan. What is the main aim of this?

UHC – Our key aim is to become a top 4/2/1 club over the next few years in Scotland and have our ladies and gents 1s competing on a regular basis in Europe while also developing a youth programme to grow the best young players possible within Scotland and possibly Great Britain. 

THP – What plans do you have to achieve this very ambitious aim?

UHC – With the benefit of having already invested heavily in the facility, our community programme, and social aspects of the club, which in the main won us the EHF club of the year award in 2022, we are fortunate we can now turn our attention and financial plans directly to on the pitch fully.

In short, we are purposely starting pretty much with a blank sheet of paper and searching for the best coaching and playing talent we can find that will in-turn support our ambitions.

THP –  As we have seen from your most recent adverts for full and part time paid coaches you are looking at wholesale changes.  Why so much ?

UHC – As our ambitions grow, our coaching team will be forced to grow also. We require more time to be dedicated to drive the quality and professionalism across our club by enhancing our community programme, our Ladies and Gents teams, specifically our premiership teams and developing young players. This can only be achieved by employing the right coaching team who has the determination to succeed, as we do.

To find out more about any of the positions being advertised by the club or if interested about finding out more email uddingstonhc@gmail.com.

THP – As well as trying to attract the best coaching talent from the UK and abroad, what plans do you have on the playing side, as your plan to “grow your own talent” will take time ?

UHC – Yes we fully accept everything takes time while we also accept we are a very young club, with limited multi cap role model players for our young up and coming fantastic youngsters, which to retain we realise we have to get to top 4/2/1 and Europe sooner rather than later.

Basically, we are looking for male and female multi cap international quality players to join us who will join our project and not only give us the quality on the pitch but will also fast track the mentoring and development of our younger players across the full club.

THP – Again from your most recent player adverts you are also offering some fantastic incentives to join the club.  What is the aim here?

UHC – We want to encourage high level players to join us in our journey to becoming the best team in Scotland. With a few high-level players and our existing young team, we will achieve our goals in the very near future.

THP – So to finish off the article what would you like to say to anyone reading in terms of coaches looking to move or relocate to Scotland, Players who may be concerned about their international place by playing for Uddingston or a student looking for a scholarship when starting their place at a new college or University in Scotland.

UHC – Come and speak with us, all we ask for is the chance to explain our plans and show you what we have done to date. Anyone can vouch that if Uddingston sets a plan, it will happen, and you could be part of our plans.

THP – Well thanks again Allan for taking the time to speak with us and for anyone reading this article and considering speaking with you the team at The Hockey Paper would certainly encourage you to speak with the club as we very much need many more clubs like Uddingston within our sport.

UHC – Your time and words are very much appreciated, and we endorse your own words.  Just come and speak with us or come and visit us.

To find out more about any of the positions being advertised by the club or if interested about finding out more email uddingstonhc@gmail.com.

Total Hockey

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