Great Britain's McCallin says joining Maidenhead HC's coaching team has been 'really good for her'

Shona McCallin says that joining the coaching team at Maidenhead Hockey Club has been ‘really good for her’ and believes it’s something she could move into when she hangs up her hockey stick for good as a player.

McCallin and fellow GB player Phil Roper both joined Maidenhead as coaches for the women’s team the season before last, with David Ames coming on board more latterly to help with the men’s team.

She said it’s been an enjoyable experience for all of them, however, there have been some frustrations along the way, with the women’s 2nd team relegated from their division last season having not had the chance to complete all of their matches due to the pandemic.

“Myself and Phil Roper, who is one of the GB men’s players, have been jointly coaching the ladies 1s and 2s,” she said. “It’s been really good for both of us. This is our second season doing it.

“For me, the frustration came last season. I’ve mainly been doing the twos who unfortunately got relegated after the pandemic, when we weren’t able to finish the season, which was really frustrating.”

With all hockey activity outside of the elite national team currently suspended, McCallin fears this season may also have to be ended early and declared null and void. She’s currently getting all of her coaching badges and says it’ll be good to have a variety of things going on when she retires from the game.

“I think this season might be a bit null and void, which will be frustrating again because the 2nds are top of the league and looking good for promotion. Again, that will be a bit frustrating, but there are bigger things to life than hockey. It just means we’ll have to go again next season, but yeah, it’s been really enjoyable. The 1sts and 2nds are a mixture of ages and abilities and it’s been a good challenge to try and gel them all together. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get some form of club hockey in again this season.

“Never say never (to coaching more after retiring from playing). It’s something I love, and because of what I’ve done it’s obviously something I know a lot about. It’s been good to share our knowledge with the players. I’m doing my level 2 coaching badge at the moment, which is obviously very good, I’m learning a lot from that. When hockey restarts, I’d like to put that into practice.

“At the moment I haven’t really decided what I want to do after hockey, but I think it’s always good to have extra things going on, so when that time does come to retire, you’re in a good place.

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