Hockey: John Bell hailed by his Inverleith players after scooping coaching accolade

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JOHN BELL is currently basking in the glory of being voted Scottish hockey’s Coach of the Year – and two of his Inverleith Ladies players believe he was a worthy recipient of the Aberdeen Asset Management-backed award.

The 54-year-old businessman was a late convert to field hockey but he has made up for lost time, guiding Inverleith Ladies into Division One for the first time after back-to-back promotions.

He also helped secure the Scottish Plate for the first time in the club’s history in a dramatic penalty flick shoot-out.

Inverleith captain Jenny Law believes the team’s mentor deserves all the credit going. She said: “We’ve a young squad with an average age of around 20, but John has the ability to develop players.”

Her sentiments were echoed by team-mate Fiona Cousins. She said: “John is a great organiser and a good coach and we all benefit from that.”

Bell, a former rower who took up hockey to keep fit, is honoured to have won the coaching award but heaped praise on his squad for making it possible. He said: “They have worked really hard to get where they are. There are some experienced hockey players in Division One and we have a young team but we are there to compete. I’m not there to make up the numbers.”