Guernsey’s Good move as Whalley steps down

THE most successful Island men’s coach ever has called time on his leadership.

Left to right: Outgoing men's coach Andy Whalley with new Island women's and men's team coaches Bex Hubbard and Andy Good. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 28714689)
Left to right: Outgoing men's coach Andy Whalley with new Island women's and men's team coaches Bex Hubbard and Andy Good. (Picture by Gareth Le Prevost, 28714689)

However, Andy Whalley still hopes to play his part in more Guernsey success on the hockey field.

‘I have enjoyed 10 great years of it, I just think it’s the right time for me to step down and let Goody lead the troops now,’ said Whalley, who is succeeded in the top job by Andy Good, who had been assisting him for the last four years.

‘I think if I can concentrate on the playing side of things, I can perhaps prolong my career and hopefully still be a part of the team for a few more years.

‘But, as a coach, I am getting a bit older while the players are getting younger and Goody is in touch with those who are coming through and that’s going to be a really good thing for the team going forward,’ he added of the master in charge of hockey at Elizabeth College.

Whalley was the Guernsey captain when they first won the EH Trophy back in 2009 before taking over coaching duties.

During his tenure, the Island side reached a remarkable five successive EH Trophy finals, winning the 2014 and 2016 showpiece events in Nottingham and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park respectively.

There were also a couple of Islands Tournament triumphs and multiple Inter-Insulars victories, too.

‘I think those five years of EH Trophy finals were the real highlight,’ Whalley said in reflection.

‘The fact that it is a knockout competition and you have to win every single game to stay in it means that to have a run of finals that long was phenomenal.

‘We had a great squad, a great group of players who grew together and had a great understanding of what was required of them.

‘You ride your luck at times – you’re bound to sometimes over five years – but good sides just know how to win and we did it very successfully.

‘Of course, the Inter-Insulars are always very big highlights when you win them, too.’

When asked if he will be picking Whalley for his future Island squads, Good grinned and muttered ‘we’ll see’, but his admiration for ‘Whallers’ is obvious.

‘His contribution to Guernsey hockey should be celebrated,’ he said.

‘Without a doubt he is the best player we have ever produced – a [Masters] World Cup winner and a National Premier Division player for many years – and we all know how successful he has been as Guernsey coach.

‘I personally would like to thank him for all he has done to help me, too, and I’m delighted that he has said he will still play.’

As previously reported, the Island women’s squad also have a new coach this season with Bex Hubbard taking over the role from David Wray.

  • More in Thursday's Guernsey Press.

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