Surbiton welcome GB star Wilkinson for new season

Surbiton’s women and men’s teams will have a new look to them following a number of high profile players coming in and out of the London club.

The women’s side are set to meet Pegasus at the Euro Hockey League Ranking Cup in October and they will welcome GB Olympian Leah Wilkinson to their line-up.

She is Wales’ most-capped sportsperson and head coach Brett Garrard is thrilled at the addition.

“From our conversations her motivation, commitment and passion shone through and with her extensive experience I’m sure she will add value to the group,” Garrard said.

“Leah is joining at a perfect time as we embark on a tough league programme and Euro Hockey League competition. I’m also hoping through her involvement in the SHC Colts section she will help develop and mentor the next generation of young players.”

Wilkinson added: “I am delighted to be joining Surbiton this season. The club has a rich history and I am excited to become just a tiny part of this. I am happy to be able to both play and coach within the club and I am very much looking forward to meeting members of the club in the near future. 

“Finally, I would like to thank Holcombe for the past five years and will forever be grateful to them for providing me with so many happy hockey memories.”

She is among five new arrivals at the club. Youth international Darcy Bourne returns to the club after a year at Duke University in the US while Sophie Hamilton is also back after a stint with the UConn Huskies. Charlotte Daly and Freya Bull also link up with the Sugden Road club.

On the move, though, are Hannah Martin (Hurley), Giselle Ansley (HGC) and Holly Pearne-Webb who makes the switch to Wimbledon.

Emily Atkinson is retiring while Corinne Zanolli moves back to the US.

It has also been a busy summer on the men’s side. Welsh corner gun Gareth Furlong has signed up following his spell with Tilburg while Adam Buckle, Nick Park, Ben Park and Ben Stevenson are other new additions.

But, like a lot of GB’s big players, Europe has come calling for Alan Forsyth (HGC), Zach Wallace (HGC) and Brendan Creed (Beerschot) while James Royce has gone to Australia.