Hallam face test as the big time finally arrives

Sheffield v Beeston at the Sheffield Hockey Club pitch opening event on Harvester National Club Weekend, 8th September 2013

Sheffield v Beeston at the Sheffield Hockey Club pitch opening event on Harvester National Club Weekend, 8th September 2013

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The Premier League adventure begins this weekend for Sheffield Hallam first team with a visit to East Grinstead.

The hosts may have finished fifth last season but are a club with one of the most talented Great Britain and England internationals, Ashley Jackson.

Jackson didn’t feature in the recent England matches at the European Cup but he is still a threat and leads a list of present and past internationals in Grinstead’s ranks that will be a stern test for Sheffield who are without last season’s star man Phil Roper, who has joined fellow newly promoted club Wimbledon.

Last weekend Sheffield’s new Olympic Pitch was officially opened at Abbeydale Park, tying in with Harvester’s National Club Weekend.

Head of sport services at Sheffield Hallam, Dan Porter, said: “We couldn’t ask for a better example of the Olympic legacy in action. Our students will benefit greatly from the Olympic hockey pitch.

“It is obviously a world-class facility, and I’m sure they will feel inspired when they play and compete for the University on the iconic blue turf.”

The pitch will have its first test this week when it’s used for the Sainsbury’s School Games.