New Hockey Coach

We’re delighted to welcome Mr Tom King to Downside. The Lead Coach for Team Bath Buccaneers Hockey U16 and U18 girls, he has coached county players and at regional level (JRPC), as well as having coached in America and New Zealand.

A former player for Reading Hockey Club, he represented the South West U15 club in his youth and won the national club cup with Reading Hockey Club at U15. Mr King was a contemporary of Olympic Gold medallist, Alex Danson, whilst they were both players for Reading Hockey Club; he also played against GB players Nick Catlin and Harry Martin.

Tell me about your role at Downside…

I’m responsible for hockey coaching and manage the 1st and 2nd teams, plus juniors, with Mr Cabral coaching the Fourth Form. I also look after the junior activities in the evening and on Sundays, so there is always a lot going on! It’s great fun.

Where were you before?

I was Head of Hockey at Daneshill Prep School in Hampshire, where I also coached cricket. I graduated from the University of Bath and am originally from Berkshire where I was very active as a player.

What inspired you to play?

My parents inspired me to start at the age of four…they both play every weekend so I grew up pitch-side!

Tell us about your most nerve-wracking match?

When I was in the Reading U15 team and about to embark upon the national finals, without a doubt. It was a round-robin tournament so we knew that in order to perform well we had to hit the ground running and win the first match. The sense of anticipation as a team was really overwhelming, however, it worked as we won all three matches….and the cup! It was a collective mindset.

Where else have you been coaching?

I coach the Bath Buccaneers U16 and U18 girls’ teams, and also help with the JDC county coaching….I spend a lot of time on the pitch!  Last weekend it rained for 3 hours continuously here…I’m getting used to the Downside micro-climate.

What are your hopes for Hockey this year at Downside?

It’s very simple, I want to really get the pupils enjoying playing the sport. In order to win you must really enjoy it first and foremost, it makes it all so much easier. I’m really looking forward to pushing the talented players and developing all of the teams.