With the 2015 outdoor polocrosse season nearly underway in the UK, the UKPA clubs have been finalising their teams for the summer and with a couple of new clubs appearing in 2015 , along with the normal carousel of players moving clubs there have been transfers aplenty. The biggest news is the return of the Highlanders to compete in the A grade. Charlotte Pykett has now reformed the club as a playing club, for the last two years she has simply run tournaments under the Highlanders name while she has played for Cotswold but this year she has decided to once again run out a Highlanders team. She has signed Livvy Foley and Layla Henshaw from Rugby to play alongside her in the Ladies’ section. The Men’s section will be Joel Sics, signed from Kent, Alec Richardson, signed from Celyn, and Travis Timm, the South African World cup player. It is a team which contains considerable talent and by taking players away from three of the other A grade sides (Cotswold, Kent and Celyn) Charlotte has weakened her opponents while building her own team. However, whether it will be enough to win an A grade crown remains to be seen.
The other newly formed club for 2015 is Rockwood Harriers, who have formed after the success of their Pony Club Branch team last year and their junior teams will be looking for more success in their first year as a UKPA club. It is rumoured that they have also now got some new players who will be playing for them in the lower senior grades but that has not been confirmed.
In other transfer news the Welsh Dragons have managed to sign “Uncle” Pete Wherrett, who returns to the sport after a year off. Undoubtedly he will bring a great deal of experience to the Dragons teams this season. They will also once again have Dara Mangan and Sam Hanlan in their A grade team, travelling over from Ireland to play in all the major tournaments.
Kent Target are weakened by the loss of Joel Sics to Highlanders and also have lost Sammy Rowden from their A grade side as she is taking time off from the sport. However, they have responded by bringing in an Australian overseas player for the first time in a couple of years as they bring in Jana Dillon from Western Australia. They also have Sam Marsh returning to play for them this year and so they do have him and a number of other male players who can potentially fill the gap Joel has left.
Arden have lost Pip Rowland to Cotswold and the Hall family to Kent but in return they gain Charlotte Winder from Cotswold, who will play in their senior teams, and then they have also signed Maeghan Brown from Ledbury and Millie, Boy and Lottie Wilson- Fitzgerald from Rugby as they expand their junior teams.
Rugby have gained Alex Bull from Cotswold to play in their top team but Cotswold have gained Joao and Lynette Evora from Chiltern. Meanwhile Celyn have gained Katie Loutisou and Danny Woodward from the Welsh Dragons and Alasdair Broadbent from Pennine and once again it would look to be between Celyn and Kent to see who is the biggest club in the UK (editor’s note: though it’s important to remmeber size isn’t everything and that why we have the Polocrosse Extreme League Trophy!)
With all the transfers, overseas players, clubs reforming and a completely new club forming it looks to be another exciting year and we will be there to report on all the action for you!