Northwood’s hockey director & head coach on today’s Clifton derby & more

NORTHWOOD director of hockey Shaun Baker has played the game at a high level – while at school and post-school.

Captained Maritzburg College under the tutelage of schools (and more) hockey coaching legend Mike Bechet, and played and coached in a number of countries across the globe.

His thoughts on the much-anticipated 11.15am Durban North derby 19 May 2018 between the Knights and KZN top 10 hockey neighbours Clifton College on Riverside Turf 2:

“Thanks Jono. Preparations this week – hasn’t been an ideal week of preparations as quite a few boys have had this tummy bug and flu that is doing the rounds. However I am pretty much at full strength.

“I have only been in charge and head coach for one other Northwood vs Clifton derby, which was last year and we drew 0-0 at Northwood.”

‘Clifton head coach Keegan Pearce has a great eye for the game’

“The attraction with regards to the derby is, I think, due to the fact that many of the local prep school boys either go to Northwood or Clifton, so there is a seriousness from their side. The Clifton match is definitely a big one…”Bakes says he’s excited to see what the Clifton 1st XI produce on Game Day:

“They are a very well-rounded team with some real quality in their ranks. The likes of Matt Lewis (a phenomenal hockey player), Kyle Whiteboy and (Matthew) Montgomery alone are incredible hockey players who lead that side this year.”

The Northwood hockey leader says that Clifton’s hockey as a whole has grown impressively in recent years.”I know that a big part of that is due to (Clifton hockey director and head coach) Keegan Pearce.

“I have coached against him at school and club, played against a team of his… he has agreat eye for the game and has good structures in place to develop more than just a good team or player.

“I am a huge fan of his and we have spoken on several occasions about the game and picked each other’s brain. I really do have a lot a respect for him as an opposition coach.”

Bakes, wishes you and the Northwood lads all the best for today’s derby.

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