Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Hockey: Down hit in pocket

Down could end up in a fine mess this season after enjoying a financial windfall in recent years.

The club has been running a fund raising scheme for the past two seasons which mirrors that employed by several Irish League football clubs.

Players are fined for a variety of reasons, but unlike the Blues and Glens of this world there's no such thing as a win bonus.

Drawing or losing, however, is a different matter entirely. Losing incurs a £2 penalty per player while sharing the points means £1 apiece.

Failing to train without a valid excuse and the player concerned has to dip into their pockets to the tune of £2, while arriving late for a session means they're a £1 less well off.

Disciplinary offences aren't ignored either and if a player sees red it's a tenner with a yellow card costing £3 and a green £1.

At the other end of the scale any player who scores a hat-trick is exempt from paying, but his team mates must fork out £5 a head

It's all for a good cause though and all proceeds are put back into the club's coffers for an end of season bash.

In recent years Down's successes on the pitch have produced a lot of money with the defeat or draw fine rarely required. But now they have earned Senior One status the players might find themselves out a bit more money.

An opening 6-0 defeat by Raphoe cost them dearly but, on the other side of the coin, a 4-1 win over Cliftonville should have made up for that.

Unfortunately that wasn't the case though as no fewer than four Down players were handed yellow cards.

On the plus side at least that's £12 towards the end of season soiree.