Lindum Hockey find themselves top of the England Hockey Conference North at the Winter break.
The Lincoln-based team were promoted to hockey’s third-tier last season, and have blown away all opposition to maintain an impeccable unbeaten record.
Player-coach Matt Bell said: “Being undefeated is a bit of a shock. A loss will happen at some point, everything comes to an end. So the next challenge is how we react to that.”
He added: “We want to be in competitive games every week, we want to be pushed to be our best version. At the start of the season, we looked at the table and saw seven or eight opponents that we thought would push us.”
Lincolnshire’s first-ever Conference North side have secured eight wins and one draw so far this season, adding to their overall 32 game unbeaten record.
Matt said: “We’re not shocked by our results, because we know how good our group is. It wasn’t a worry, we knew we’d be there or thereabouts.”
He added: “We get more people to come to watch but there’s massive support for the first men and women team. The members are pushing to make an atmosphere and event for every home game.”
“We went into the season with a blank canvas. There was no expectation on it, which is nice because the last three years we’ve needed to finish first. We’ve had a see what happens mentality.” – Lindum Hockey Player-coach Matt Bell
Lindum’s home games are populated by strong support, with a speaking playing ‘Yellow Submarine’ and full-crowd chants.
Matt says home advantage has been a key to success this season: “Away games are always a different challenge. Every club we’ve visited, no one has an atmosphere like we create, every member of our club is behind us. The support for our club is unrivalled. It makes a really nice atmosphere, that’s really helpful for us at home.”
He added: “At Wakefield, we had more support than they did. Suddenly we had a home support away from home.”
Everyone pulling their weight
Lindum’s success has been punctuated by great performances across the team, relying on the group, rather than one or two star-players.
“We don’t need to rely on one player when we get into a tough situation.”
Ben Read has been one of the headline grabbers, securing top-scorer status.
Matt said: “Ben comes from playing in a higher level at Peterborough. He knows what’s expected at this level. He’s handy to have around, calm people down and grab the bull by the horns.
One of the other most-renowned players of the season so far is Sam Temple-Brown: The player-coach said: “He’s a fan favourite. If you asked anyone in our team they’d say he’s one of the best players they’ve played with. We’re so lucky to have him, he could have played at a higher level, but he chose to stay with our group. He’s a very good player and a good servant for our club.”
At the halfway mark of the season, Lindum sit at the table’s summit, looking up to England hockey’s second tier and the possibility of back-to-back promotions.
Matt Bell looked ahead to the second-half of the season, and said: “We start with Belper away, which is an unknown. But, then we have a run of five local games with home games and a trip to Doncaster. We are hopeful to carry on. It gives us a good start.”
In February, they face fellow contenders in successive games.
“Timperley at home and Doncaster away. That fortnight is a season defining moments. If we take massive points from those it puts us in a great position,” Matt said.
Lindum’s Director of Hockey was unwilling to nail his flag to the mast of promotion
“Of course it would be an awesome achievement, but it’s not a must like it was last year. We know how good we are, but there are teams who have been pushing for his league for the past few years “
Lindum Hockey return on January 21, with a trip to Belper Hockey. The season finishes in March, with a true possibility that Lincoln’s hockey team may still be sat top of the league.