Lindum Hockey Club is to become the first Lincolnshire club to compete in England Hockey’s National League, after their Men’s 1st team were crowned champions of the Yorkshire and North East Premier Division. The side’s Head Coach, Matt Bell, hopes this achievement will encourage more young people in the county to take up Hockey.

Coming into the year after missing out on promotion in the penultimate game of last season against Ben Rhydding Hockey Club, expectations were high. But to be unbeaten this season, winning 18 out of 19 games they’ve played, scoring 97 goals along the way, the league has been dominated by Lindum.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Emmins

So what has been the key to their success this season? Head Coach of the Men’s 1st team, Matt Bell, believes keeping a core group of Lincolnshire based players has been instrumental. He said: “Traditionally, in Lincolnshire we make some good hockey players, but normally they will go out and find their Hockey elsewhere. So they’ll go onto bigger clubs and different countries to play.

“But this year we’ve managed to bring a squad together that is predominately Lincolnshire lads, that are back playing in the county, and that’s really helped our strive for promotion.

“Lincolnshire always has done quite well with Hockey, the senior counties team always does well, but a lot of players go elsewhere to find their Hockey because they want to play at that next level. Whereas now Lindum are offering the National League level in our county, which is great.”

Their 8-2 win against Brigg on the 25th February secured the league title with four games left and next season they’ll play their Hockey in the National League Conference North division.

Photo Credit: Lindum Hockey Club


Lindum haven’t really been set back as a team this year, apart from in the season opener against Leeds which ended in a 3-3 draw, so was still being unbeaten at this stage a realistic expectation?

“Promotion was the goal” Bell explained, “We didn’t expect it to happen with four games to go, but we drew our first game and we realised hang on a minute, this isn’t going to go all our way.

“I’d say the general level of the league is higher than last season, but we didn’t have a team pushing us all the way, like Ben Rhydding did last year. So we’ve been able to relax in our performance and we’ve definitely improved from the season before.”

In terms of the quality of the league Lindum will be entering next year, Bell is quietly confident. He said: “We play a couple of the teams in friendly and practice matches and we always fare pretty well. We’re confident going into next year, we don’t want to make too much of a fuss, we just want to get in that league and see how we get on.

“It would be silly of me to come out with a ridiculous statement about how well we’ll do next year. But we’re not scared of the level and want to show what Lindum can do.

“I don’t think we’ll take teams by surprise. But if teams underestimate us, we will surprise them.”

But away from the 1st team, Bell believes the promotion could have a wider impact on Hockey in Lincolnshire. He added: “We’d quite like the University to maybe now attract some students coming into the area, that’ve played at a reasonable level through school.

“We’d also like to capture the imagination of local kids that potentially would want to come down and just see the level. Or just try Hockey and help raise the profile of the sport in Lincolnshire.”


Lindum ‘ultras’ celebrate promotion.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Emmins