Olympian John Shaw makes dramatic Slough Hockey Club return
By Mike Haymonds • Published 24 Jul 2012 15:54 0 Comments
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Build up to the Games: South Korea's hockey Olympians added the final touches to their preparations at Upton Court Park, home of Slough Hockey Club, this week.
SLOUGH Ladies Hockey Club's chances of retaining key players for the up-coming season have been boosted by the return of John Shaw as head coach.
Former Olympian Shaw led Slough to stellar domestic and European success for five years during the 1990s and returns as head coach.
He will be assisted by Kate Porter who has recently coached Buckinghamshire county junior teams to success. Shaw will also continue to coach Oxford University men and women.
After narrowly averting relegation from the England League Premier Division last season Slough's choice of a new top quality coach was crucial in retaining key players such as Great Britain Olympians Ashleigh Ball and Nicola White.
Slough's vulnerability was heightened by Surbiton's promotion to the Premier for the up-coming season, adding a second local rival club as well as Reading.
Shaw, who played in the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, told the Observer: "After my previous stint with Slough I resisted getting involved with a national league side.
"But I'm ready for a new challenge - to take Slough towards the level of their former glories."
Surjit Sandhu, recently chairman at Slough HC, said: "I think everyone at the club will be excited with this development which provides the ladies with a top level coaching framework. We will also be announcing a top level coach for Slough men around mid-August."
The Upton Court Park-based club have also played host to South Korea women's Olympic squad during their final preparations for the Games this week.
The Koreans, based at Brunel University in Uxbridge, trained at Slough twice a day before moving into the Olympic Village.
They were full of praise for the facilities and the welcome and help they received from the club's members.
The Olympians were accompanied at training by a 17-strong boys squad from the A-San High School in Seoul, who are scheduled to play a Slough side this Friday.