Ins and Outs, Ups and Downs – Penguins Prepare for the New Season !

“we’ve seen some great gains made and are happy and positive that we’ve improved in readiness for the coming season.”

As the Peterborough Penguins prepare for their 20th season in senior Women’s hockey, we caught up with our Penguins correspondent and new member of the Penguins coaching team, Tom Parker, to see how the club is shaping up ……..

The side was starting to look very threadbare towards the end of the last campaign …… how are things looking now ?

On the downside, we are looking at losing Lauren Steels to university commitments and also Joanne Saville, Sally Griffen and Kirsty McQuillan due to family commitments.

On a more positive note, we’ll see Isabella Gibbs, who made her debut last year and shows a lot of promise, become a regular face and also Charlotte Fox, a player who has shown great promise in training will be registering to play her first season for us …… she comes from a roller derby and American football background ! We also hope to see Aimee Neverson get back to us in some capacity following the birth of her second child and maybe hope to see a couple of youth players who have trained with us last season join the team following their birthdays, which will make them eligible in the months to come.

So very much bad news/good news but we are still in need of greater numbers. We’d love to see some experienced players interested in coming along and training with us with a view to playing and any local U21’s who may be playing at other clubs who would be eligible to play down as well as up leagues. Come along and join the setup.

Are there still opportunities for newcomers to come and try out ?

Definitely …… come and give it a go ! We have all the equipment to loan out and coaches ready to assist any potential newcomers who fancy giving it a go.

I guess it goes without saying that the club would love some financial backing !

Yes ….. we are always on the lookout for any potential sponsors that may be out there. They’d find us to be a great sporting outfit to be involved with and would be sponsoring much more than just a sports team …… they’d be helping girls and women getting into sport, enabling their development both as players on the ice and individuals off the ice. The girls and all of us who work behind the scenes passionately believe in this team and all the girls within it ….. it’s just great to be involved and watch them all working together.

I heard some whispers that the club may become a part of the Dalrod Phantoms hockey family ….. is that still on the cards ?

It’s something we’d love to be a part of and the girls all feel a part of the wider hockey family here in Peterborough. Although there has been some consideration, nothing has materialised as yet but we’re forever hopeful of finding some form of sponsorship to help us develop and progress in the seasons ahead.

How are on-ice preparations going for the new season and how does the coaching side of things work at Penguins ?

Well firstly, we’ve had a well planned and developed approach to our Summer/pre-season thanks to the united efforts of our coaching personnel. Sharon Khan is our head (Level 2) coach and she is assisted by Stacy Horn, Clare Ledbury, myself and manager Sue O’Sullivan all working cohesively and with a common aim and purpose …… we’ve seen some great gains made and are happy and positive that we’ve improved in readiness for the coming season.

Am I right in thinking that Clare (Ledbury) and yourself are debuting on the coaching front ? 

Yes you are and we’ve both attended the EIHA Level One coaching course in readiness. Clare obviously brings great experience, hockey knowledge, ability and leadership qualities to her coaching role whereas I’m coming in as a British cycling level 2 coach and cycling performance coach (with my own company VeloPeaksCoaching). It adds more experience at athlete and team level as well as a knowledge of physiological and psychological development of athletes and structured planning.

It’s also great to have Stacy Horn on the coaching team. Stacy is really flourishing in the role and really rolling up her sleeves and getting stuck in and all of this allows our lead coach, Sharon, to concentrate a little bit more on her own game.

I gather we had the prospect of one or two “import” players playing for us this season …….

Yes, we potentially had two or three exciting new players this season (from USA and Latvia) but, sadly and frustratingly, the EIHA require quite extortionate payments to allow international players to play over here which has left us unable to proceed.  There really needs to be some kind of re-think over how these punishing fees impact on non-Elite level teams like ours as it prohibits us from taking advantage and bringing in players who could add so much to the development of our team and our players and even the sport itself.

Good luck in the season ahead and, once again, we’ll be following the team’s fortunes on Twisted Sock !


If anybody is reading this who fancies the idea of having a go at ice-hockey then do step forward and get in touch with the team. They are a great bunch who will delight in taking you on board and giving you an introduction to the sport …… all you need to provide is enthusiasm !