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Hightown forced to move from home.


HIGHTOWN Ladies, one of England's outstanding women's hockey clubs, have been forced to move away from Merseyside because they cannot afford the modern facilities that have become obligatory at the game's top end.

They are currently playing at Bowden in Cheshire and are unlikely to return unless they can merge with another club or find a major sponsor.

Hightown have been the outstanding club in the North for several years, attracting players from all over the region, winning the National Championship and representing their country in Europe.

However they cannot afford to install a waterbased pitch and floodlights, estimated to cost more than pounds 200,000, which are now required of all clubs competing in the Premiership.

"It's very sad, but we have no choice if we want to remain an elite club, " said their coach Margaret Souyave.

"We would love to return home to Merseyside, where we have our roots, because we are terrified of losing our identity but there is no way we can do that at the moment.

"We are fortunate in that Bowden have been able to offer us what we hope will be a temporary home."

Hightown Ladies' wanderings are nothing new. They had to leave Hightown years ago because that club could not afford an allweather pitch, and after a brief spell at Liverpool University, they ended up at Formby Cricket Club, who also have a men's hockey team.

Among the players worst affected are England stars Tina Cullen and goalkeeper Carolyn Reid.

Both are schoolteachers who already have to travel a lot and Hightown could lose them.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 17, 2002
Previous Article:Hodgson: Come and get me Derby.

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