Harleston Magpies have announced the return of former England international Tim Whiteman as player-coach for the men’s first team next season.
The 30-year-old, who played a starring role in Harleston’s England Hockey Mixed Trophy title triumph earlier this month, is returning to the club where he started his hockey career aged just six, and where he made his debut for the men’s first team as a 16-year-old.
Since leaving Magpies for Nottingham Trent University, following two year’s in the club’s first team and an indoor national title, Whiteman went on to play in the England Men’s League Premier Division for Beeston Hockey Club.
His 10 successful years at the Nottinghamshire-based side included winning three national titles and the England Hockey League Cup.
Whiteman also has 54 caps for England and Great Britain, having played in five major international tournaments, and will be bringing his wealth of experience of playing at the highest level of the sport back to Magpies to help push forward the men’s side of the club.
“It’s a huge honour to be asked to lead the men’s first team for Harleston Magpies,” he said.
“I can’t wait to return to such a fantastic club and work with talented, dedicated players and coaches.
“My vision is to create a fun environment with attacking, high tempo hockey whilst at the same time developing individuals and the team as a whole.”
Whiteman will be supported in the coaching set-up by first team captain Leigh Sitch, who has an intrinsic knowledge of the club and brings extensive experience to the team.
“It’s great to welcome Tim back, as a coach and player who can offer expertise on and off the pitch,” Sitch said.
“Tim will be an excellent role model to all members of the club, and importantly inspire our younger members in our growing youth section.
“I am sure that with Tim’s guidance the men’s first team will play attacking hockey that is exciting to both play and watch.”