Reivers 1s ladies reflect on a season of growth and promise

The Fjordhus Reivers Ladies 1s after their last game of the season.
The Fjordhus Reivers Ladies 1s after their last game of the season.

This year, the Fjordhus Reivers 1s squad was predominantly made up of up-and-coming young players aged under 18.

This array of youth was levelled out by the three slightly wiser heads of Ashley Robson, Sara Robson and Emma Pate.

An exciting year ahead had all the players very much looking forward to a competitive season of hockey.

The first half of the season saw a variety of results but, most importantly, a real growth in performance, with the girls gradually becoming more confident as a squad.

The team was able to pull off some great victories against strong opposition, including Edinburgh Hockey Club (5-2), Dundee University (6-5), Aberdeen University (2-1) and the University of St Andrews (3-2).

Hollie Grieve, in goals, was an asset at the back of the field and had one of her strongest games against Inverleith, when she made a series of sensational saves.

Sara Robson, Caitlin Wright, Ashley Robson, Jodie Sinclair and a number of others made it on to the team sheet, with some terrific passages of play followed by a variety of outstanding shots at goal, deflections and well executed penalty corners. Charlotte Fairbairn and Meghan Campbell were regular 1s players throughout this time and proved real ambassadors out on the pitch, with so much potential for future seasons.

After a long break, the 1s were thrown back into the season’s competition with a tough game against Glasgow University. Despite losing 2-0, the squad was proud of yet another strong performance.

After a run of similar games, the squad then travelled to Aberdeen to play Merlins and Aberdeen University.

The game against Merlins was a bleak affair, with pouring rain and terribly cold temperatures, but everyone stuck in and performed well.

The fixture against Granite City was one of the more frustrating, finishing 2-2. With only a few seconds to go, Granite City sneaked in an equaliser to tie the game.

As the second half of the season progressed, the squad really began to shine. Hannah Millar, Chloe Richardson and Rachel Shiel performed phenomenally, with many a display of silky skills and length-of-the-pitch runs.

Aimee Martin, Holly Shepherd and Julia Corcoran’s ‘engines’ allowed them to create promising moves out on the wings, while Jenny Sharp and Emma Grieve were a regular combination at the back who proved difficult to break down and played with so much composure in a critical area.

Ashley Robson was a go to, ‘straight strike’ machine, scoring many a goal throughout the season (creating fierce competition between the sisters). Robyn Pick joined the squad for the second half of the season and was a real asset at the back, creating confidence, structure and a real sense of urgency in defence.

These players, young and wise, have been a genuine credit to their club throughout the year, with great commitment to training, matches and each other.

With an average age lower than the majority of clubs across the country, it says so much of these players when they produce the results they have and finish in the top five of the Women’s National League Division 2.

A spokesman said: “We wish all those moving on to new ventures the very best of luck in whatever comes next for them.

“For the younger players – enjoy your rest and we will see you back on the pitch for pre-season training and another enjoyable season ahead.”

The squad extended its thanks to coach Janet Jack, who has put an exceptional amount of work into the team as well as the individuals involved.

The skill and fitness on show was a result of this input and the players were very grateful.

They also praised Jane Aitchison, who has managed all the fixtures and ‘background’ managerial tasks, along with all the players who helped to make up the team when required.