H. D. Judge Trophy

Last night, Peter Agnew presented Mark Cullen with the H.D. Judge Trophy, in memory of David Judge who passed away in 2015.

Thank you to Peter Agnew who provided the following text:

H. D. Judge attended Avoca School, then went to Patora, Captain Dublin University, played his Club hockey with Three Rock Rovers, was in the Guinness Book of records for the most Hockey caps, played 125 times for Ireland and was a member of the GB team in the Tokyo Olympics, he was also President of the Leinster Branch and over saw the merger of the Leinster men and ladies Union, he returned to coach the Avoca Men who finished 5th in the European A Division in Barcelona; the highest ever placing by an Irish Men’s team in an A division.

M. P. Cullen took up Hockey late when he arrived in Newpark from Willow College, played in the U21 World Cup in Paris and became a regular Indoor and Outdoor International, a member of the 1982 Mills cup winning team, the club’s first senior Trophy, Mark would go on to win over 50 senior trophies with the Club. Mark coached the Men’s senior team for ten years and was also instrumental putting Newpark hockey back on the map, he was the obvious choice to receive the H D Judge Trophy presented to the club by David’s wife Grania, for services to the Club. Granie’s father, Mr. Findlater also attended Avoca school and was a past President of the Irish Hockey Union.

Club News

Dear Club Member,

Welcome to the 2020-21 season. This is a special year for Avoca Hockey Club – we are 125 years old!

For those of you who are new to the club, you are very welcome to the Avoca family, and we hope you find playing with Avoca to be a fun and enjoyable experience.

During the lead up to the season the club committee started to action our 5 year plan and begin a journey of transformation. We are laying the foundations for the next 125 years of the club!

Lots of growth and positive change achieved over the summer:

• We are in a position to enter a 5th men’s team in the Leinster leagues which reflects the huge amount of work that has gone in to building up the men’s section.

• Again due to the hard work of our ladies captain and her team, we have created a ladies 6th team and also introduced a 2nd ladies vets team following a very successful ‘Give Hockey a Go!’ programme run through a collaboration between the men’s and ladies sections

• Our junior section is thriving and we have added junior hockey on Friday nights in Newpark. This has enabled us to offer hockey to approximately 100 new junior members who have been on a waiting list.

• We are always looking to build on numbers for our boys section so if anyone knows of any boys out there looking to try something new, please get in touch; we would be delighted to speak to them. We are planning some free hockey for boys to get a taster, but more on that when Restrictions are lifted.

Congratulations to all the Avoca players recently selected for the U16 and U18 inter pro squads, a real testament to our junior section. We are so proud of them and they are an inspiration to all our young budding hockey stars.

As many of you know, Rudi Wortmann has come on board as our new director of hockey. Rudi is working with the committee and coaches across all sections of the club, to enhance the structures already in place and ensure quality coaching for all. With real focus on both coaching and each player’s own development, we are laying a solid foundation for quality hockey from our youngest member to our oldest.

As it is our 125th year we had great plans for how we were going to celebrate, but, it goes without saying that Covid 19 has had a significant impact on these plans. The resurfacing of Newpark had to be delayed but it is still top of our to do list and we will be looking to you our members to support this project. There are other events planned as part of the celebrations so please watch the social media platforms and download the new ClubZap app if you have not already done so to keep up to date with all club news.

The App was another of our summer successes and huge thanks to Al Robinson and all the managers for making it work for us all so quickly.

The public health guidelines that we must follow are constantly changing and no doubt this will continue throughout the season. We are doing everything that we can to facilitate as much Hockey as possible and to work within the guidelines. Could I ask all members and parents to please follow the guidance you are given from your captain/manager/covid officer, it is for your safety as well as the safety of your teammates and families. Hopefully we will get back to a full programme of hockey in the near future.

Unfortunately most teams are not allowed to play matches yet, however our men’s 1st and 2nd squads and our ladies 1st squad can play, so keep an eye out for their results. The ladies got us off to a winning start on Saturday (well done ladies) and I know the men are itching to continue this when they get their league campaign underway. Very best of luck to the men’s 4ths who are competing in the final of last season’s Minor Cup this weekend. Whilst we can’t be there to support – you know we are all cheering you on!

Finally, a massive thank you to all of you who have been working so tirelessly, and with such passion and dedication, to get the season up and running. So much more work than ever before had to go in to preparations so to the committee, managers and coaches – a huge Thank You!

Wishing you all the best for the coming season, enjoy yourself because that’s why we play.

Caroline Daly

President Avoca Hockey Club

Fearsome 4s Cup Final

The Fearsome 4s who were only formed at the start of last year, play in the postponed 2019/20 Minor Cup Final this weekend against North Kildare. Normally, these matches are played in neutral venues, however, due to COVID-19, the venue has now been changed from a home fixture to an away one; alas, the Fearsome 4s have been preparing long and hard for their big day and will relish the challenge.

Special shirts were ordered last month and these have now arrived. Players can complete payment for these here:

Club Cup Final Jersey

The Fearsome 4s Cup 2020 Final Jersey. Only purchase if you have pre-ordered!


Coaching Structure

Thanks for all your support so far during the Covid and preseason. Nonetheless the start of our season is finally here. Men’s and women’s first and second teams have already started with pre-season and our men’s 4s commenced training last week with a cup final to prepare for.

For the rest of the teams, both junior and senior, we plan to start our season on 30th August. Times have been allocated and will be made public soon. Coaches will be assigned for each team/group this week.

We have made or are making changes within our coaching structure, and in order to make sure that all of the coaches are up-to-date, we have organising meetings on Sunday 23rd August in Newpark school covering the following topics:

  • Coaching pathway
  • Avoca’s technical hockey plan            
  • Coaching allocation
  • Junior Coordinators

If you would like to attend one of the sessions below, get in touch with our Director of Hockey Rudi Wortmann on doh@avocahockeyclub.ie

  • Sunday morning 10.30 – 12.30
  • Sunday afternoon 14.00-16.00
  • Sunday afternoon 17.00-18.30 (Goalkeepers coaches only)

Give Hockey a Go!

Last year we trialled an approach to encourage people to give hockey a try (Dads & Lads)  – either to get a basic understanding or to return to the sport again. It was very successful so we have expanded the idea and added Mums & Chums (basically over 16). 

As you know we recently provided free hockey sessions to the whole club and we are now also making this initiative free. The time is also being made 7:30pm in Sion Hill using the full pitch for both. You also do not have to come each week but would ask that you register: Covid requirement. 

Fun, Friendly and Safe.  4 weeks , Fridays 7:30 in Sion Hill. Bring a stick Shinpads and GumShields. We can’t share equipment but will have a couple of cleaned down sticks. 

This season we would especially like to grow our Ladies section and give Mums and Past Players the opportunity to play Masters/Vets or League. If you are a Mum, Past Player or just a Chum why not give Hockey a go next Friday 7th August.

Over the last number of years a number of Dad’s of players in the Club have taken up Hockey and now play regularly for Avoca Masters/Vets on a Wednesday night or on a Saturday for Avoca Men’s 4s or both. We have also seen the return of past Men’s players to the Club after a decade or two decades absence and they are also playing each week, often at Men’s 3s and sometimes Men’s 2s. Last year we ran four Dads& Lads sessions and that allowed the formation of Mens 4s last year and we plan to add a Mens 5s this season. If you are a Dad, a Past Player or just a Lad why not give Hockey a go next Friday 7th August.

Book on our website or via our new App: Mums & Chums | Dads & Lads

Covid 19 questionnaire required as part of application. 

Give Hockey a Go

Yes it’s happening! Avoca HC’s Give Hockey a Go is Back!

You can try Hockey for the first time, pick it up again after a long break, or simply use this to get back into the game.  Great coaches and a fun, friendly and safe environment. Come on – Give Hockey a Go!

4 Fridays 7th-28th August.
Dads & Lads 7pm
Mums & Chums 8:15pm
Sion Hill

You need a gumshield, shin pads and stick. ( we normally can supply some but with Covid restrictions….)

Book directly on our new ClubZap app now or via one of these links:
Mums & Chums | Dads & Lads

Covid 19 questionnaire required as part of application. Booking essential.

Covid Guidance will issue post booking.

Covid-19 Course

Sport Ireland has revamped their free online Covid-19 course – Click Here. The course aims at supporting administrators, volunteers, coaches and participants to return to sport during phase 3 in a safe and practical manner. The course is split into two sections

Section A builds on the previous awareness course and has been updated with the current government advice and guidelines in relation to Covid19.  It also includes modules on the recommendations and guidance from the Expert Group in relation to Phase 3.  The course is targeted at supporting administrators, volunteers, coaches and participants.

Section B of the course aims to support those who have been nominated to fulfil the Covid Officer Role within clubs (and other groups). This section includes specific modules in relation to that role – Responsibilities, Management Plans, Venue Layouts, Dealing with a Breakout, Emergency First aid etc. Participants can choose to complete Section A only or both sections A & B.  Nominated Covid Officers (and supervisors) are recommended to complete both sections.

Both sections will include a test/quiz and a Certificate of Completion.

Overview of Course Content:

  • Hand Hygiene
  • Equipment Hygiene
  • Advice on exercising during Covid-19 & Safe Return to Play Post Infection
  • Safe Return to Sport & Physical Activity
  • Advice for Group Activity
  • Returning to activity in the Great Outdoors
  • Phase 3 Guidance
  • Covid19 Officer Training
  • Staying Informed  

The link to this course, Hockey Ireland “return to play” protocols, Club Declaration Forms etc., can all be found on the LHA website.  There is a new “COVID 19 TAB” on the homepage which is where all information relevant to Covid-19 is easily accessible – Click Here

Director of Hockey

Avoca Hockey Club is pleased to announce the appointment of Rudi Wortmann as our new Director of Hockey. Rudi joins the club at a very exciting time where he will lead the implementation of the hockey strand of our recently reviewed 5 year development plan.

With a wealth of coaching experience from roles in several Leinster based clubs as well as time with the Leinster Ladies squad and both the Irish under 21 Ladies team and the Irish senior Ladies team he will be working closely with the clubs coaches. The development of coaches has been identified as key to developing our players and is something the Club has identified as a priority for the coming years, so current and aspiring coaches will be encouraged and given opportunities to up skill supported by the Director of Hockey.

Rudi has previously held the role of Director of Hockey and Development Officer in other clubs and brings this experience to Avoca where we aim to enable all our members develop their skills no matter what level of hockey they are playing at.

We welcome Rudi to the club and look forward to working with him over the coming years.