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Press Release - 23/08/1998

East Antrim Hockey Club
23 August 1998

For further information, contact:
Stephen Swann
Press Release Officer - East Antrim Hockey Club
34 Carnmoney Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 6HP
078 0316 7731


The search is over as far as seeking a 1st XI coach is concerned for the East Antrim Hockey Club. That's the news coming from the Glengormley based club with just 3 weeks to go to the start of the new season.

Club members were recently informed of the appointment of Mark Watson who's own playing career has been put on hold. Mark is a recent graduate of the Ulster Branch's coaching course. He has also been involved in the Ulster schoolboy setup and until his recent spate of injuries, occupied the right back position with East Antrim's 1st XI.

Specialists, however, have advised Mark to stop playing hockey for the forseeable future, due to a dislocated collar bone. Keen to stay involved, and with an ambition to coach a Senior club in the future, it seemed only natural for him to take on the vacant position with his home club.

Club captain, Stephen Swann, was enthusiastic about the appointment:

"Mark is still very young, but he is very keen. When someone is keen, I believe they deserve to be given a chance. I also believe that the appointment will be mutually beneficial. I have assembled a very young and inexperienced squad and I believe they will learn a lot from Mark."

Mark has played under some very respected coaches during his time at school - RBAI. His experiences at Ulster schoolboy level will also add to the development of the youth at East Antrim.

Mark himself also seemed optimistic about the coming season.

"I think I can add something different to the team, and it will also give me more exposure to coaching. The fact that there are so many talented youngsters at the club makes for exciting times ahead."

Unfortunately, the good news concerning Mark was marred by the shock of the departure of Raymond Hughes to Parkview. Raymond, 4 times captain of East Antrim and a 15 year servant leaves to further his coaching experience with the Doagh club.

"It's a big loss to the club. His experience in guiding our younger players will be missed." said Swann. "It also means that I have played more 1st XI games than the rest of the squad put together".

Hughes is joined in the "departure lounge" by Aaron McDonald, bringing to 5 the number of 1st XI players who have left the club to join teams in the Senior ranks.