The Hook begins 2011/12 preparations

With the release of the Leinster men’s early season fixtures with those of Leinster and South East women to follow in due course, thoughts of the 2011/12 season are slowly appearing on the horizon with the odd pre-season notion coming to mind. The Hook is no different and is looking forward to its fifth season since the site first started in its blog format.

The site has come a long way since its early beginnings. In the past year, the switch to a website format and the development of the site’s excellent photographic arm, culminating in the Irish Hockey Photographers’ dedicated website, were among the projects undertaken.

During the season, the addition of more video elements and our first ever ‘livestream’ – the vast majority with thanks to Tristan Seaton-Stedham – has been a huge advance.

The first Hook Awards’ night – primarily a fundraiser for Glenanne’s EHL trip at Easter – will hopefully become a regular fixture in the local hockey calendar.

Full league tables, updated on Sunday morning’s based on club submissions were integrated mid-season and the Stats Centre will hopefully be tidied up and improved in the coming months.

For the 2011/12 season, using The Hook’s twitter page, the intention is to be ramp up this service and be able to collate virtually all of the divisional results in a simple, free fashion within minutes of game’s completion and, thus provide the earliest possible league table updates.

During the season, the Hook has endeavoured to travel to as many games as possible, taking in trips to Munster, Ulster, the Netherlands and France to cover as many aspects of our sport to the highest standard.

More details will follow on this in due course but to develop these elements and maintain standards, the site does require a personal financial outlay which is primarily attempted to be covered from those who have donated to the site; 100pc of these funds go back into the Hook’s development.

Should you wish to help the coverage and promotion of Leinster and Irish hockey, feel free to contribute to the site via the ‘Donation’ button on the left-hand side of this page (or follow this link).

Finally, thank you all for taking the time to read, contribute and comment to The Hook. Website hits have increased more close to three-fold this season, an indicator that the Hook’s efforts are being appreciated in some form.

Such indicators, along with the feedback received around the grounds week-in, week-out, make the efforts which go into the site much easier to manage.

All the best for the rest of the summer and I look forward to seeing some of you pitch-side as the Irish men and women pursue their Olympic dream, building toward the European Championships in August.

Stephen Findlater

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1